Project II-5: Research-oriented education in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences: Developing the competencies of university teachers
|Researcher:||R.M. van der Rijst, MSc (PhD candidate)|
|Supervisors:||Professor dr. N. Verloop, Professor dr. J.W. Kijne (Faculty of Science, Leiden) & Professor dr. J.H. van Driel|
The educational programs of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Leiden University introduce students to research activities in various ways. The main aim is to not only familiarize students with the skills and techniques that are typical of scientific research, but also let them experience what it means to participate in a scientific community. For this purpose, students take part in courses that includes open assignments of both a practical and theoretical nature. In addition, students participate in the activities of various research groups within the faculty. For university teachers, however, it is not always evident how to design and teach courses from a research intensive perspective. For this reason, individual teachers and small teams of teachers redesign their courses and work to improve their skills and knowledge of the possibilities and limitations of research intensive education. With the support of a consultant, the idea is to gradually involve more teachers in the redesign of courses into more research intensive education.
In this context, a PhD project has been organized with a focus on the development of the competences of university instructors in the domain of research intensive education. During the process of experimenting and implementing various research intensive forms of science education, data have been collected on the experiences, conceptions, and reflections of the participating teachers. The data are analyzed to determine how the teachers’ knowledge and beliefs develop as a result of experience with research intensive forms of university education. The reactions of the participating students have also been evaluated. Factors that appear to promote or hinder the development of research intensive forms of education are identified, and conclusions for the design of professional development activities in this area are drawn.