Research Group Driving Educational Change
Lines of research within the research group
Educational change has a bad reputation: it lacks clear goals, comes to a standstill, lacks a transparent evidence base, and the results are unclear or disappear quickly. What is needed for effective and long-lasting changes? The first research strand focuses on the observation of change processes in professional educational practice, and the monitoring and evaluation of the results. We pay specific attention to the processes that drive change and what they require of teachers.
The second research strand focuses on developing a strong theoretical foundation for educational changes, while building on empirical research. What can we learn from various change processes in varying contexts? When do we consider change to be long lasting and what role should the teacher play? Our goal is to steer educational change in an evidence-informed way. We look at various types of changes, such as those aiming at internal development versus external accountability, within various themes and in relationship to different educational sectors.
The third research strand involves active participation in organizing change processes in professional practice, carrying out practical research, and developing concrete models and tools to improve educational practices involving students, teachers and policies. The research group pays special attention to what is required of teachers: what competences do they need to make successful changes and how can our research group help them?
Innovative capacity of education professionals during complex changes
Active involvement of educational professionals in complex educational innovations is important for the successful realization of those innovations. The active role of educational professionals has been studied to a limited extent to date. In this project we investigate which elements make up the innovative capacity of education professionals, and how we can strengthen this.
Proeftuin Appropriate Teaching
In this research workshop, which we call Proeftuin, we focus on researching and improving the pedagogical actions of MBO teachers in order to strengthen the connection to the learning and/or educational needs of students. To this end, we work together in professional learning communities (PLC).
Bridge builders and frontiersmen
In order to tackle complex social issues, cooperation between professionals at school, in the neighborhood and around the family is a prerequisite. This requires innovation of the existing infrastructure in which professionals are trained. The link with research, specifically around the theme of 'boundary crossing', is essential here.
- How To Make Evidence-Informed Practice A Day-To-Day Affair
- How a sense of collective efficacy influences teacher learning during change The role of academic optimism and shared vision
- Drivers and obstacles for evidence-informed practice in an autonomous and decentralized educational system
The short-term and long-term results of many educational changes often remain unclear. The research group wants to help initiate and implement changes in a more goal-oriented, substantiated way – in HU Utrecht University of Applied Sciences and in other educational institutions.
“We map change processes to develop new insights. We also do research on what competences educational professionals need to initiate, evaluate and preserve educational changes advisedly.”Kristin Vanlommel Professor Research Group for Driving Educational Change
The research group works closely with the Centre for Expertise, Talent & Skill, with educational programmes offered at HU and with the Teaching and Learning Network. They also collaborate with regional, national and international partners in professional practice, education and research.