Introduction

The chair group Education conducts research on humanisation in relation to education. How can education contribute to helping people to bring out the best in themselves and flourish?  And how can it contribute to building a humane society? We examine education in a variety of contexts, ranging from primary schools to adult education in the army. We also seek to work with professionals, pupils and parents on improving educational practices. We focus specifically on worldview, moral and citizenship education.

Meaningful education

Professionals face various challenges in aiming to provide meaningful education. People have very different views on what it means to flourish as a person, and how educational professionals and their practices can contribute to this goal. Also, people have different views on the flourishing of society, how (young) citizens can contribute to its realisation and what this means for education. The professional context is highly standardised and regulated, which strongly limits the professionals’ ability to operate creatively. Teachers also perceive discrepancies between their educational ideals and the educational practice, and need to deal with this somehow. Through its research, the chair group of Education aims to contribute to fruitful ways of engaging with these challenges. 


Our research in the coming years will focus on the following themes:


  1. The relationship between worldview, moral and citizenship education, and the way in which these contribute to the (future) flourishing of  pupils and students. 
    When can we say that education is meaningful and valuable? What are the factors that promote or hinder meaningful education? What does a focus on testing and standardisation mean for the pursuit of meaningful education?
  2. The education of pupils and students to become adults who wish to contribute to a humane society. 
    How can we encourage and maintain a caring and learning democracy, in the light of economic and cultural challenges at the local, national and international levels? What does this require in terms of attitude, knowledge and skills, and how can these be cultivated?
  3. The flourishing of professionals, their professional wisdom and their contribution to educational practices.
    Value conflicts are inevitable, but how are these perceived and discussed in school? How can these conflicts serve as a source of professional wisdom?  What role do teacher training programmes have in developing the wisdom of prospective education professionals?

Our group

The chair group consists of educational theorists, philosophers and empirical researchers, whose research begins with pedagogical, educational and societal questions. By means of pedagogical and philosophical reflection and through empirical research, we seek to clarify key concepts, to understand the backgrounds and possible answers to the questions, and we seek well-founded ways to improve education.