The Freudenthal Institute (FI) is a multidisciplinary institute concerned with science and mathematics education, science communication, and the history and philosophy of science. The Institute’s research aim is to understand and to foster effective education for scientific and mathematical literacy, based on knowledge from the educational sciences, science communication, and the history and philosophy of science. The Institute’s research program 2021-2026 (pdf) focuses on four research themes:

  1. Science in society: How has scientific knowledge been developed and perceived in society over time, how do communication and mutual engagement between science and society take place, and what knowledge of and about science do citizens need to deal with socio-scientific issues?
  2. Scientific and mathematical literacy education: How do we achieve higher order educational goals, foster student motivation for and engagement with science, and realize equity and inclusion in education?
  3. Digital technology for scientific literacy: How can digital technology, e.g., augmented, mixed and virtual reality, and virtual classrooms, be used in secondary and tertiary education and in teacher education?
  4. Scientific literacy in tertiary education and teacher education: How to support tertiary teachers’ professional development? What encompasses academic research integrity, and how do we educate future scientists in this respect?

To investigate these themes, FI uses different research methods, including design research, lesson study, and methods to study digital historical databases. Special attention is paid to research quality with respect to ethics, integrity, and privacy, both in the Institute’s research work, and in the education of PhD students at Utrecht University. In its research, the Institute collaborates closely with partners within and outside University University, both at a national and an international level. 

Download the full text of our research program Scientific and Mathematical Literacy in Life and Society (pdf).

The research data of the FI are managed according to the Data Management Protocol (pdf)