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Deadline extended: Call for Proposals

Handbook Transdisciplinary Didactics

Thorsten Philipp (TU Berlin) and Tobias Schmohl (OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts) in equal contribution

Publication size              
approx. 400 pages

Year of publication        

Publishing House           
transcript (open access)

The publication unpacks key terms to describe the panorama of transdisciplinary didactics in the context of academic education.

Background and context

Alongside the rising status of interdisciplinarity as a learning experience across disciplines, participative science approaches and research alliances at the cross­roads between science and society have rapidly grown in importance in academic teaching.

Increasingly, knowledge resources which are cultivated beyond universities, such as practical knowledge, vocational knowledge etc. are being incorporated into uni­versity teaching and research practices. This serves four fundamental didactic aims. During their studies, students learn how to (1) recognize, distinguish, and describe knowledge production and knowledge resources, (2) determine the use­ful­ness of knowledge resources for addressing a problem in a particular situation, and (3) identify methodologies for incorporating these resources into their studies and student research projects. In addition, (4) students are encouraged to outline their communicative responsibilities to wider society and explore ways of sharing their own experiences, learning and research with society. This conceptual didactic shift may also encourage students undertaking vocational training. Students thereby experience themselves as future researchers and develop critical perspectives on their actions.

The new open access publication will provide an encyclopedic reference guide to permit access to core concepts of transdisciplinary didactics, by explaining its key terms. The range of items includes (but is not limited to):

Citizen Science, Co-Creation, Co-Leadership, Critical Transdisciplinarity, Culture of Change (Systemic Change), Digitality, Draft, Education for Sustainable Develop­ment, FabLab, Feedback Culture, Hackathon, Implicit Knowledge, Informal Lear­ning, Integrative Research, Internship, Mode 2, Mutual Learning, Open Briefs, Open Source, Open Science, Participative Research, Popular Education Project-based Lear­ning, Living Lab, Science Communication, Solutionism, Theatre Action Research, Third Mission, Transformative Science, University of Technology (Polytechnic), etc.

These and similar key words will be primarily discussed in their implications for trans­disciplinarity and didactics.

Target Group

  • Students who are looking for a solid foundation for learning the key concepts in area of transdisciplinarity
  • University faculty who want to use transdisciplinary perspectives in their courses
  • Researchers who use scientific approaches to address issues of transdisciplinarity in the context of academic teaching and learning
  • A general audience that seeks to understand the current changes in higher education
  • Representatives from economy, civil society, culture, politics; educators and vocational instructors; actors for societal change

Aims of the Publication

The publication attempts to give a structured explanation and breakdown of the various teaching perspectives on transdisciplinarity and transformative research, based on high-quality research articles. It is intended as an overview and reference work, particularly for students and newcomers to the topic. It enables a broad, interested public audience to access the complexity of the debate, and presents the current state of the theoretical discussion in an easily understandable manner. It also serves the following aims:

  • Make the case for transdisciplinary education practice while addressing concerns and reservations against participative teaching formats.
  • Develop a broad self-understanding of transformative research and teaching among researchers and students.
  • Promote a methodological framework for applying transdisciplinary perspectives in teaching (foundations, systematic approach, evaluability).
  • Provide reflective and illustrative examples of application and practice from multiple societal and academic fields.
  • Demonstrate the potential of transdisciplinary education methods to address current issues on a global scale (grand challenges).

Article Structure and Scope

The articles will be written by expert teams (two authors minimum, if possible - but not necessarily - as a multi-national team) in the form of short, comprehensible scientific papers. Texts by a single author will not be accepted. Headings will comprise the key term only (e.g. Citizen Science, FabLab, Internship etc.), subheadings are to be excluded. Articles follow a defined structure in order to ensure consistency and practical usability of the handbook in everyday study and research. The areas addressed are to be presen­ted comprehensively using a maximum of 25,000 characters (including spaces) in five sections:

  1. Definition (etymology, systematic approach)
  2. Background (including outline of the history of the phenomenon)
  3. Debate and criticism (including state of research)
  4. Current forms of implementation in higher education
  5. Literature

Readability is essential. To ensure that the handbook is accessible to a wide audience, all texts must address people at different reading levels.

Double-blind Peer Review

Submitted papers will undergo a double-blind peer review. The editors will provide detailed review criteria as well as specifications for the manuscript after authors submitted a first abstract.

Submission and Extended Deadline

Please submit a 300 word abstract along with short biographies of the authors (merged in one single document) to , and .

The deadline for submitting proposals has been extended to 22 May 2022. If your proposal is suitable, you will be informed of this by 31 May and you will be asked to submit your article no later than 16 October 2022.

Zusatzinformationen / Extras


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Thorsten Philipp
Referent Transdisziplinäre Lehre
Hauptgebäude H1024
Straße des 17. Juni 135
10623 Berlin
+49 30 314 29835