The process of generating transdisciplinary knowledge

[Deutscher Titel: Der Prozess der Entwicklung transdisziplinären Wissens (Text übersetzen: Deutsch)]

Jasmin Godemann
Knowledge integration: a key challenge for transdisciplinary cooperation
Environmental Education Research, Volume 14, Issue 6 December 2008 , pages 625 – 641

Abstract: In both transdisciplinary education and transdisciplinary research projects, bodies of knowledge must be brought together which are structured in fundamentally different ways. Besides the clear divide between practical, everyday knowledge and academic knowledge, there is also a range of distinct discipline-based outlooks; all of these are to be integrated in order to reach solutions to practical problems, and to create new knowledge that transcends disciplinary boundaries. The different forms of knowledge present within a transdisciplinary team represent an important resource for problem-solving. However, this raises the question of how – in spite of or because of these differences – knowledge can be exchanged and ultimately integrated in such a manner as to achieve common goals. The process of knowledge integration is key to the added value of transdisciplinary research; it is therefore well worth examining the process in a more differentiated manner. The paper draws upon findings from social psychology on information and knowledge transfer and group dynamics to illuminate the process of generating transdisciplinary knowledge. It intends to contribute to the further development of transdisciplinary collaboration practice. The paper also provides specific recommendations which are useful in research and education processes.

Keywords: knowledge integration; transdisciplinary research; transdisciplinary collaboration practice; interdisciplinarity; sustainable science

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