Crossing boundaries between disciplines: Analysis of an interdisciplinary course about spacetime between physics, mathematics, and philosophy.
Miani L., Maranzano M., Cattabriga A., Moruzzi S., Levrini O.
Interdisciplinarity is considered a key approach to face the challenges of our society. Literature shows that teachers and students struggle with the siloed division of knowledge in disciplines. We present an analysis of an interdisciplinary teaching course for master's degree students based on the theme of paradoxes in space-time. The course was part of the MINOR VAST (Viaggio Attraverso Spazio e Tempo) offered by the University of Bologna that straddled the disciplines of physics, mathematics, and philosophy, and it was attended by students from scientific and humanistic disciplines. Key points of the course were co-teaching, co-planning of lessons, and group activities. The course was analysed using two frameworks: Boundary crossing and boundary object from Akkerman & Bakker to focus on interdisciplinary processes and the reconceptualized Family Resemblance Approach applied to the Nature of Science from Erduran & Dagher to focus on the peculiarities of disciplines. A questionnaire and a subsequent focus group allowed us to collect data on how students perceived the course and to extrapolate guidelines for developing intrinsically interdisciplinary teaching modules.