The big question on every teacher’s mind is this: How do I ensure that my pupils learn as much as possible? This question leads to all sorts of problems at the various educational stages. For example, teachers in secondary education are often looking for the best teaching methods and techniques to get pupils to reason in a particular way, such as geographically. In higher education, lecturers often have difficulty cultivating students’ interest in their field of study and getting them to be more active.
The Inter-Faculty Centre for Teacher Education and Professional Development, better known by its Dutch acronym ICLON, supports instructors on these sorts of issues. One way they do this is through research on the best techniques for presenting instructional content and for motivating and activating pupils and students. ICLON researchers are also examining techniques for deploying instructional tools such as games and online environments in education. Other research is aimed at the best topics that one can present to pupils. ICLON also offers degree programmes and professionalisation tracks for instructors in secondary and higher education.
Scholars in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences are studying all sorts of aspects concerning how children and instructors function: How can you motivate your pupils to follow the lessons? And what is going on ‘inside children’s heads’ while they are learning, such as when they are solving arithmetic problems? This type of research is not only an important aid for understanding the effectiveness of modern arithmetic classes; it also helps chip away at certain stubborn prevailing myths, such as the idea that arithmetic used to be ‘taught better’. Social sciences scholars in Leiden are also turning their attention to psychological aspects concerning school, such as the development of social anxiety among teenagers. This anxiety can hinder learning or even keep pupils from going to school.
Research at Leiden University is making a contribution to better education, giving pupils, students, and instructors alike the opportunity to develop.
Inter-Faculty Centre for Teacher Training and Professional Development (ICLON)