Science Education

Scientific literacy for life is the main focus of the Science Education (SciEd) group. This group adheres to the principle that an increasingly complex society cannot function without basic knowledge of and about science for all citizens and therefore strives to strengthen the quality of formal and informal science education. The group achieves this by focusing on:

  1. Research into the components of scientific literacy: It is essential to know what citizens need to know of and about science in order to make informed decisions in their lives. Apart from basic scientific knowledge, this includes knowing how science works (nature of science) and how science impacts society (socio-scientific issues) as well as citizens’ personal decisions (e.g., as witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic).
  2. Research into formal and informal science education: Processes of teaching and learning towards the development of scientific literacy, both in formal (e.g., schools and universities) and informal educational settings (e.g., museums), including designing and studying the effects of interventions to improve science teaching and learning (for instance based on the use of modern technology).
  3. Educating teachers and other educational professionals: Broad scientific literacy can never be reached without great science teachers in secondary education. Therefore, the SciEd group contributes to educating and training science teachers through evidence-informed teacher training, both in initial education and for second-career teachers.
  4. Furthermore, in cooperation with the Public Engagement and Science Communication group, the SciEd group educates and trains excellent (informal) science communication professionals within the Master-SEC program.

In working towards these goals, the SciEd group connects to related research groups worldwide and, just as importantly, to educational practice (for instance by actively pursuing research projects together with schools and museums, such as PhD research grants for teachers).