Below, you will find an overview of the courses from the current academic year in the Master’s Programme in Educational Sciences. In year 2, you will take two elective courses, follow research seminars, and write your Master’s thesis. 

This overview is meant to give you an idea of what to expect. The course offer may change in the coming academic year.

Year 1, semester 1

Theories in learning

Many theories of learning exist at different levels of explanation. There are grand theories making paradigmatic claims about learning as representing the course of social life, theoretical approaches making claims on how to understand learning best, and theoretical models making empirical claims on how learning occurs or is best facilitated. Learning theories, moreover, are not static as contemporary theories extend and update traditional ones. This course – Theories in Learning – discusses various smaller and more comprehensive theories of learning, placing them in their historical contexts, in relation to each other, as well as in the context of current society and educational practice. There will be discussion about the similarities and differences between various theories, making course participants aware of different understandings and discourses that are reflected in educational literature. The course will work towards an elaborate framework by means of which learning theories can be described, compared and debated on a more abstract level. Your understanding of this framework is put to the test in a final analysis of a scholar’s work.

Introduction to educational neuroscience

There is no content available for this course.

Advanced statistics I: Multivariate statistics in practice

This Course will teach students to use multivariate statistics for the analysis of empirical data. At the end of the course students should be able to determine which statistical model should be used to investigate different types of research questions, e.g. regression, ANOVA, repeated measures and logistic regression analysis. Furthermore, the students should be able to execute the corresponding analyses using SPSS and interpret the results. Students have encountered most of these models in the bachelor programmes, but still have to develop confidence in applying these models and procedures while analysing empirical data. Special attention will be given to the practical issues: checking the model assumptions and dealing with violations. New topics are power, contrast testing, bootstrapping,  missing data and imputation techniques, and a further advanced topic in multivariate statistics.

There are options to follow this course as a non-Research Master student (eg Elective student, PhD student etc). Please contact the teacher about these options on time, ie before July 15 (for courses in semester 1) / December 15 (for courses in semester 2). You will need written approval from the teacher (an email is sufficient) in order to register for this course at the Faculty’s Student Information Point (Faculty Students Desks). Note that for external parties, costs for participation may be involved.

 
Relation between tests and goals of course
 
Aims:
1.      Refreshing previously mastered knowledge of multivariate analyses.
2.      Enhancing knowledge about multivariate analyses by studying and/or practicing topics not encountered in previous education (e.g. repeated measure analysis and logistic regression), and/or by studying related topics (e.g., contrast testing and multiple testing issues).
3.      Apply knowledge of General Linear Model to design an appropriate statistical model for a given research question and dataset.
4.      Being able to perform the analyses mentioned in the previous three points using SPSS and being able to interpret the results.
5.      Knowing which statistical model should be used to investigate different types of research questions.
6.      Acquire knowledge on new developments in statistics (e.g. Bootstrapping and the changing ideas on hypothesis testing).
7.      Reporting skills in writing about design choice and choice for statistical test.
Presentation skills in criticizing existing article on logistic regression analysis.
8.      Assessment:
Assignment 1:       Short review and presentation, 20% of final grade.
Assignment 2:       Data-analysis plan, 20% of final grade.
Assignment 3:       Analysis and essay  on an advanced topic in multivariate statistics, 20% of final grade.
Assignment 4:       Presentation concerning logistic regression analysis, 20% of final grade.
Assignment 5:       Reading questions handed in each week. One randomly chosen set of questions will be graded, 20% of final grade.
 
 
 AimAssessment 1Assignment 1, 2 and 52Assignment 2, 4 and 53Assignment 24Assignment 3, 4 and 55Assignment 1 and 26Assignment 3 and 57Assignment 1 and 28Assignment 4 
 
 

Integrative practical I

There is no content available for this course.

Year 1, semester 2

Teachers and Teaching

In this course, we will critically examine issues related to teachers and teaching from various theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. Through readings, discussion, and assignments, you will gain a more complete understanding of the complexity of teaching and how educational researchers go about conducting research on teachers and teaching today. Specifically, we will consider the following topics:

  • Defining and evaluating effective teaching;
  • the role of culture in the classroom;
  • student-teacher relationships;
  • classroom management;
  • curriculum and instruction;
  • teachers as learners.

In addition, particular focus will be given to the development of students’ knowledge and skills regarding the methodological tools of observation and literature synthesis. In collaboration with practicing educators, you will apply these skills as well as your broader learning to issues in schools.

Individual differences in learning, educational outcomes and special needs education

Children’s academic achievements vary greatly and depend on sources of individual differences that determine learning ability, properties of the educational system and on the interactions between individual child characteristics and learning environment. Some children encounter severe difficulties in learning academic skills such as reading or math while they appear to develop normally in other respects. At the other end of the spectrum are children with special gifts and talents in one or more (academic) areas and there are children who fit neither of these two categories, but do have special educational needs, for example related to not being proficient in the language of schooling because they just migrated from another country. In this course you will learn about individual differences in learning and educational outcomes, and the implications for teachers, educational systems and educational research.

Introduction in multilevel and structural equation modelling for EdSci

Two techniques that are often encountered are multilevel modeling (MLM) and structural equation modeling (SEM). MLM is appropriate for handling nested data, for instance, patients in hospitals, or occasions in people. MLM can be used to study the within cluster and the between cluster relationships between an outcome variable and predictors. In the lab meetings SPSS and HLM are used. SEM covers both factor analyses and path analyses. It can be used to investigate the underlying factor structure and compare this across groups (i.e., measurement invariance), more complex mediation models, longitudinal data, and to compare distinct theories. In the lab meetings Mplus is used. There are options to follow this course as a non-EdSCi student (eg Elective student, PhD student etc). Please contact the teacher about these options on time, ie before July 15 (for courses in semester 1) / December 15 (for courses in semester 2). You will need written approval from the teacher (an email is sufficient) in order to register for this course at the Faculty’s Student Information Point (Faculty Student Desk). Note that for external parties, costs for participation may be involved.

 

Integrative practical II

This integrative practical is scheduled in the second semester of the first year, parallel to other EDSCI courses. In this practical, students complete two assignments which are graded. Two additional homework assignments are presented during the meetings and must be uploaded on blackboard. The first assignment concerns the application of factor analysis in a structural equation framework to data of researchers that participate in the EDSCI master. Students are provided with original data and research questions, they specify their models, run the analyses, report the results, and formulate conclusions. In the third assignment students prepare a NWO-format research proposal, related to the subject of their master’s thesis. Students also provide comprehensive feedback on a fellow student’s research proposal. Assignments integrate theoretical Edsci courses (01, 02, 05, 06) and the course on multilevel modeling and structural equation modeling (EdSci07). The homework assignments concern conceptual issues regarding centering in multilevel analysis and validity and reliability in qualitative analysis. During the meetings, students are supposed to get actively involved in discussing their assignments with the other students and to provide feedback on their fellow students’ work.

Year 2, semester 1

Interaction in blended and online learning environments

The course focuses on the instructional design of blended or online learning environments that are effective, efficient and enjoyable. During this course the underlying mechanisms that explain the effectiveness, efficiency and enjoyability of these learning environments are studied. Relevant topics that are addressed in this course are differentiation, personalization and adaptation of instruction, self-regulated and self-directed learning, and computer supported collaborative learning.  

Upon completion of the course you are able to:
- demonstrate, orally and in writing, the mastery of the basic concepts;
- apply theoretical concepts to evaluation of research literature;
- apply theoretical concepts to design of learning situations;
- analyze learning in blended or online environments from different perspectives.

Educational Elective course I – clinical or research specialization

EDSCI10 Educational Elective I and EDSCI11 Educational Elective II resemble each other and have similar possibilities comprising four general choices:

  1. Following a course from others Utrecht University research master programmes, or an equivalent programme from other universities
  2. Doing an internship within one of the EdSci research groups or a national or international institute linked to the Utrecht research groups (e.g., the GSE programme of Rutgers University (USA) or Curtin University (Australia)), or an internship in more policy (e.g., Ministry of Education, Educational Inspectorat) or practice (e.g., Dutch Council secondary education, consultancy firms) oriented organisations. EdSci 10 and 11 can be combined in a substantial international traineeship, also abroad, if feasible. In the traineeship students participate in ongoing research and/or connect their thesis research with the theoretical and methodological aspects of a research group. The goal of the internship is to get familiar with doing research within a university or more policy/practice oriented setting and getting acquainted with the various steps in doing research. During the internship, students learn how a research group functions, learn to collaborate in a research or multidisciplinary team and cooperate with colleagues, critically reflect on own functioning as researcher within a team, reporting clearly, completely, and concisely, collecting and processing data (data entry, scale construction, development of code book), presenting (orally and written), learn how research connects to educational policy and practice. NB: if students want to collect their own data for their thesis they are strongly advised to use their electives for organizing and doing their data collection!
  3. EdSci 10 and 11 are part of the clinical qualification track in the EDSCI programme. Students with an appropriate Bachelor or Premaster specialization Special Education (Studiepad / Premaster Orthopedagogiek) who choose for this track will do an internship in  the Ambulatorium under supervision of a licensed clinical teacher. During the clinical internship students will do the third required diagnostic case study and further elaborate the first and second diagnostic case studies (respectively EDSCI02, EDSCI06). Other professional skills concern communication with important stakeholders, such as parents and school teachers. 
  4. EdSci 10 and 11 are part are part of the combined qualification track EDSCI and Youth Policy and Society (MOV) programme or EDSCI and the academic master Educational Sciences (Onderwijswetenschappen). Students who choose for this track will do a course, an internship or research traineeship under supervision of a teacher with expertise in either national or international societal education issues or educational sciences. Professional skills concern communication with important stakeholders, such as parents, school teachers and policymakers.

Elective course II - clinical or research specialization

EDSCI10 Educational Elective I and EDSCI11 Educational Elective II resemble each other and have similar possibilities comprising four general choices:
 

  1. Following a course from others Utrecht University research master programmes, or an equivalent programme from other universities
  2. Doing an internship within one of the EdSci research groups or a national or international institute linked to the Utrecht research groups (e.g., the GSE programme of Rutgers University (USA) or Curtin University (Australia)), or an internship in more policy (e.g., Ministry of Education, Educational Inspectorat) or practice (e.g., Dutch Council secondary education, consultancy firms) oriented organisations. EdSci 10 and 11 can be combined in a substantial international traineeship, also abroad, if feasible. In the traineeship students participate in ongoing research and/or connect their thesis research with the theoretical and methodological aspects of a research group. The goal of the internship is to get familiar with doing research within a university or more policy/practice oriented setting and getting acquainted with the various steps in doing research. During the internship, students learn how a research group functions, learn to collaborate in a research or multidisciplinary team and cooperate with colleagues, critically reflect on own functioning as researcher within a team, reporting clearly, completely, and concisely, collecting and processing data (data entry, scale construction, development of code book), presenting (orally and written), learn how research connects to educational policy and practice. NB: if students want to collect their own data for their thesis they are strongly advised to use their electives for organizing and doing their data collection!
  3. EdSci 10 and 11 are part of the clinical qualification track in the EDSCI programme. Students with an appropriate Bachelor or Premaster specialization Special Education (Studiepad / Premaster Orthopedagogiek) who choose for this track will do an internship in  the Ambulatorium under supervision of a licensed clinical teacher. During the clinical internship students will do the third required diagnostic case study and further elaborate the first and second diagnostic case studies (respectively EDSCI02, EDSCI06). Other professional skills concern communication with important stakeholders, such as parents and school teachers.
  4. EdSci 10 and 11 are part are part of the combined qualification track EDSCI and Youth Policy and Society (MOV) programme or EDSCI and the academic master Educational Sciences (Onderwijswetenschappen). Students who choose for this track will do a course, an internship or research traineeship under supervision of a teacher with expertise in either national or international societal education issues or educational sciences. Professional skills concern communication with important stakeholders, such as parents, school teachers and policymakers.

Research seminar educational sciences I

The Research Seminar (7.5 ECTS) takes place during the second year of the Research Master programme. It runs parallel to the Research Master Thesis (Edsci13) and is set up to help the student – through readings, discussions and debate – develop those academic skills and solve actual research problems encountered while doing the Master’s Thesis research. COURSE PROCEEDINGS The course will follow a flexible schedule of of meeting every three weeks. In a meeting, the course coordinator or a guest speaker presents a subject, show pointers to resources and sets assignments. In addition, time in the meetings will be used to let the students present and discuss their problems and progress in the research. In this way the Edsci students form a small research group under the supervision of the coordinator of the Research Seminar, to support each other in their research tasks.

Master's Thesis

The Master's thesis is embedded in previous research and literature on the chosen topic and includes a theoretical elaboration of the research problem, followed by an empirical test of some implications of the theory and a discussion of results and conclusions. The thesis has the form of a publishable research paper and thus includes:

  1. an introduction in which a theoretical framework is formulated and relevant empirical research is integrated, concluded by a set of hypotheses;
  2. a method section with a description of the sample, procedure, design, analyses, and measurement instruments;
  3. a results section in which the data are analysed and the hypotheses are tested;
  4. a discussion that summarises the main conclusions and describes their theoretical and practical implications.

In addition to the thesis, you can prepare a research proposal based on the topic of your thesis for a subsequent PhD study (though this is not required). The topic of the thesis should preferably be integrated in the ongoing research programmes of EdSci research groups. The decision on the topic for a thesis is taken at the end of the first year in the programme. The preparation of the thesis and the research proposal starts in the second semester of the first year in cooperation with the Integrative Practical and the problem formulation, relevant theories and hypotheses are discussed with fellow students and lecturer(s). This is followed by the Research seminar , in which methods, analyses, results, and interpretation are likewise discussed. 

Year 2, semester 2

Research seminar educational sciences II

The Research Seminar (7.5 ECTS) takes place during the second year of the Research Master programme. It runs parallel to the Research Master Thesis (Edsci13) and is set up to help the student – through readings, discussions and debate – develop those academic skills and solve actual research problems encountered while doing the Master’s Thesis research. COURSE PROCEEDINGS The course will follow a flexible schedule of meeting every three weeks. In a meeting, the course coordinator or a guest speaker presents a subject, show pointers to resources and sets assignments. In addition, time in the meetings will be used to let the students present and discuss their problems and progress in the research. In this way, the Edsci students form a small research group under the supervision of the coordinator of the Research Seminar, to support each other in their research tasks.

Master's Thesis

The Master's thesis is embedded in previous research and literature on the chosen topic and includes a theoretical elaboration of the research problem, followed by an empirical test of some implications of the theory and a discussion of results and conclusions. The thesis has the form of a publishable research paper and thus includes:

  1. an introduction in which a theoretical framework is formulated and relevant empirical research is integrated, concluded by a set of hypotheses;
  2. a method section with a description of the sample, procedure, design, analyses, and measurement instruments;
  3. a results section in which the data are analysed and the hypotheses are tested;
  4. a discussion that summarises the main conclusions and describes their theoretical and practical implications.

In addition to the thesis, you can prepare a research proposal based on the topic of your thesis for a subsequent PhD study (though this is not required). The topic of the thesis should preferably be integrated in the ongoing research programmes of EdSci research groups. The decision on the topic for a thesis is taken at the end of the first year in the programme. The preparation of the thesis and the research proposal starts in the second semester of the first year in cooperation with the Integrative Practical and the problem formulation, relevant theories and hypotheses are discussed with fellow students and lecturer(s). This is followed by the Research seminar , in which methods, analyses, results, and interpretation are likewise discussed.