Centre for Applied Research in Education

Science and Mathematics Education

The Science and Mathematics Education research group is the successor of the Science and Technology Education research group. As a result, it incorporates a number of projects/doctoral programmes from its predecessor. Since 1 October 2018, the professorship has been led by Professor Bert Bredeweg.


The focus of the Science and Mathematics Education professorship is on the reinforcement of science education within the chain of primary education, secondary education, professional education and teacher training programmes.

Included in science education are the natural sciences (physics, chemistry, biology), mathematics and technology. The didactic issues involved centre on urban Amsterdam, in particular the accessibility of degree programmes in the sciences and technology as well as the development of literacy in the sciences and technology among the entire pupil population. All opportunities offered by the city are consciously exploited, including cooperation in multidisciplinary networks of schools, degree programmes, cultural institutions and museums. The urban area is home to a number of issues related to the sciences and technology, such as sustainable buildings, alternative energy sources, urban agriculture and waste recycling, all of which can inform applied and meaningful education.

Core question

The core question for the professorship is which didactic interventions are effective to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes in respect of science and mathematics education within an urban context. As the main aim is to teach pupils, the focus of the research is on the design and effect of teaching methods and curricula. Key components are the use of specific materials and visualisations in the learning process as well as collaborative learning. Research questions deal with the learning materials, the instruction and supervision of teachers, the interaction among pupils and extracurricular learning. The emphasis is on approaches where pupils learn to explain their own work by combining various representations (such as text and image in biology or graph and formula in mathematics).


The research group’s objective is to help increase the number of urban pupils who enjoy and excel in science subjects. It attempts to achieve this aim by developing and disseminating learning materials and didactic knowledge, as well as by connecting teachers and researchers from primary education, secondary education, senior secondary vocational education and teacher training programmes.

The professorship is keen on contributing to an increase in the number of students and lecturers active in research on science education, as well as to innovation and development among schools by means of this applied research. It strives to stimulate the development of sustainable technology in the city via teaching projects.

Published by  Centre for Applied Research in Education 28 October 2019