Academic interdisciplinarity

School interdisciplinarity


Is aimed at producing new knowledge and responding to social needs:

- by making links between the branches of science

- by establishing a hierarchy (ordering of academic disciplines)

- by epistemological structuring

- by understanding the different disciplinary perspectives through via a re-establishment of communication links between disciplinary discourses

Is aimed at teaching academic knowledge and educating social actors:

- by setting up the most appropriate conditions to initiate and sustain students’ development of integrative processes and their appropriation of knowledge as cognitive products, which requires arranging school knowledge in curriculum, instructional theory, and teaching strategies

Epistemological options

Relational perspective: establishment of complementary, converging, and interconnecting links

Ampliative perspective: filling the gap observed between two existing sciences or between several sciences, thus leading to the emergence of new disciplines

Restructuringperspective: questioning the very nature of knowledge and promoting the emergence of a new conception and a new structure of academic knowledge to overcome their compartmentalization and “protective” boundaries

Relational perspective


Academic disciplines

School disciplines

Methods of application

Involves the concept of research:

- takes knowledge as its system of reference

Involves the concept of teaching and education:

- takes the learning subject as its element of reference

Reference system

Addresses a discipline as a science (scholarly and certified knowledge)

Addresses a discipline as a school subject (school knowledge), and hence a reference system that is not restricted to the sciences, but involves diverse components (pedagogical, moral, political, cultural, economic, etc.)


Leads to the production of new disciplines by various means

Leads to the creation of complementary links between school disciplines