Research programme

There is growing awareness that the education system is pushed to its limits in addressing contemporary societal challenges and opportunities. The traditional workplace with hierarchical line management and a high degree of labor division loses terrain rapidly and is increasingly replaced by work contexts that capitalise on professional autonomy, creativity, self-regulation and interdisciplinary collaboration.

In addition, the cultural and linguistic diversification of society brings major challenges such as increasing educational inequality, cultural polarisation and radicalisation, but also opportunities pertaining to the advantages of growing up multilingual and to the need to bridge perspectives which promotes critical-constructive thinking and global citizenship.

As such, education faces the challenges of, for example, fostering skills to meet the new demands of the economy, while also teaching basic academic skills, which requires innovation of curriculum and pedagogy. Adapting to individual learners’ needs and actualising the full potential of learners of varied ability levels, requires innovative personalised learning arrangements and differentiation strategies. Initiatives focusing on integration of school-based education with informal education in extra-curricular programs, underscore the need to coordinate formal and informal education.

In order to address these challenges, we study the development of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that individuals need for optimal participation in society, and how education can support this. We study how informal and formal education contexts from early childhood to adulthood can be coordinated so as to provide powerful environments for learning and development across contexts. More specifically, we aim to:

  1. study the development and education of basic skills in early and middle childhood;
  2. unravel the social and intercultural dynamics of classroom interactions;
  3. identify principles of instructional design for powerful learning environments;
  4. improve professional development and learning in organisations.