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Utrecht Univ.

Utrecht University, Freudenthal Institute for Science and Mathematics Education
The Netherland

Utrecht University (UU)is a research university with 30.000 students and a broad range of disciplines. The Freudenthal Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (FIsme) is part of the Faculty of Science of Utrecht University. FIsme is an institutional cooperation of four research groups in the Faculty of Science, in total about 90 staff members and PhD’s, but also includes teacher training, professional development of teachers and staff development. FIsme’s mission is to contribute to the improvement of learning and teaching in mathematics and science. FIsme research, in mathematics education, physics education, chemistry education and biology education, is on the understanding of the processes inherent to learning and teaching science and mathematics, and on factors which influence the learning and teaching of these subjects. This research covers a wide range of educational settings, from pre-school, primary, general and vocational secondary school education to higher education. In achieving research goals, work has contributed to theories about student learning, teacher learning and expertise. Studies have been undertaken through empirical studies of current and intended educational practice using a broad range of qualitative and quantitative methods. FIsme research generates knowledge that is relevant to innovation in science and mathematics education, but FIsme is also greatly involved in professional development programmes for teachers and in projects aimed at the evaluation of innovative programmes, which provide opportunities to interact closely with teachers and school management. In recent years the institute is involved in EU-projects in science and mathematics education, aiming at research and innovation with partners all over Europe. FIsme is also involved in other research and development projects with partner universities in Europe, but also has a unit in the USA and projects in South America, Asia and Africa.

Prof. Dr. Albert Pilot has a PhD on learning problem solving in science from the University of Twente. He is a full professor of curriculum development in the IVLOS Institute of Education at Utrecht University and since 1998 also professor of Chemistry Education in the Department of Chemistry of that university, integrated in the Freudenthal Institute of Science and Mathematics Education. His research in Science Education is concentrated in the field of curriculum development, context-based education and professional development of teachers, including the design and development of a new chemistry curriculum for the secondary school, based on aims of the programme, content related to recent developments in research and new pedagogical methods for teaching and learning. His work also involves research and development of curricula for higher education, specifically on Honours Programmes, quality assurance and accreditation, and teacher training and professional development.

Dr. ir. Astrid M.W. Bulte has a PhD from University of Twente on membrane technology and is an Associate professor in Chemistry Education. She has worked as a teacher of chemistry and physics at secondary school. Her work in the field of science education and communication is focused on fundamental research projects that also have to be productive for national curriculum innovations, for teaching and for the field of science communication as such. She concentrates on the development of a research programme on the meaningful learning of science and the professional development of teachers, with as theoretical framework more specific ‘Authentic practices’ and ‘context-based chemistry education’, and on communities of teachers as focus in professional development. She initiated a large national project for coaching the professional development of teachers that will become involved in the innovation of the chemistry curriculum. She is member of the Advisory group for Science education of the Swedish Academy of Science and involved in the summer schools for PhD-students in Science Education, organised by the ESERA


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PROFILES 1st Consortium Meeting
Berlin, 9th–11th December 2010