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Educational innovations


NB Language of instruction is English unless only Dutch-speaking students participate


This course is concerned with educational innovations. In this course, you will analyse and evaluate these innovations aimed at enhancing learning and instruction, thereby paying attention to backgrounds, meanings, and consequences of changes occurring in the educational field.

The Dutch educational system witnesses a period of profound changes under the influence of the turn towards a knowledge society, global competition, technological innovation, new public management, the redressing of social relations between stakeholders in the educational field (teachers, pupils, parents, educational management and the state), and the continuous stream of educational and technological innovations geared towards the improvement of teaching and learning.

Crucial changes are related to the heightened importance of ‘performativity’ (performance of pupils, teachers and schools; methods of testing and assessing, systems of performance monitoring, systems of accountability of educational institutions), the introduction of inclusive education (redressing the balance between regular and special education, catering for special needs students, pupils of different attainment levels, and social and cultural backgrounds), new insights in the field of learning and instruction (for instance pertaining to powerful learning environments including ICT-applications, co-operative learning, peer feedback and assessment, or the role of motivational or neurological processes in pupil learning), and, last but not least, to the teaching staff (the professional status of their work, their professional development, their capacities for both individual and team work) and the organization of educational institutions (their school effectiveness, their role in teacher development, their educational visions).

The course will be organized around the critical study of a selection of such practical changes and innovative designs. It will also reflect on evidence-based education as the preferred model of organizing the relationship of educational research and educational innovations, and improving education.

Course objectives

The objectives of the course are to:

  • Develop critical awareness and understanding of the theory, theoretical backgrounds of and empirical insights about the educational changes and interventions mentioned above and about the educational field

  • Appreciate the effects, advantages and disadvantages of these changes and
    interventions across a range of contexts

  • Acquire and practice skills in the critical analysis and evaluation of these changes and interventions

  • Create opportunities for participants to evaluate critically the relevant literature

  • Enable participants to develop an understanding of the links and tensions between theory and practice

  • Appreciate the complex moral dimensions of educational innovations


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable

Mode of instruction

Meetings are used for reflection and discussion. Students prepare for these meetings by watching knowledge clips, listening to podcasts, reading papers and working on assignments with fellow students.

Assessment method

The final grade will be based on an individual paper (100% of final grade). Individual assignments and a satisfactory class presentation are conditions for completing the course.


During this course Brightspace will be used.

Reading list

Students are provided selection of papers, in addition they will search for literature on an innovation of their choice.


It is mandatory to register for each course via uSis. This applies to both the lectures and the working groups, even if they take place online. Without a valid registration in uSis you will not be able to participate in the course and you will not have access to the Brightspace module of the course.

In addition, it is also mandatory to register separately in uSis for each exam (i.e. both the first exam opportunity and, if necessary, the resit) in uSis. This also applies to partial examinations in a course. This is possible up to 10 calendar days prior to the exam. You cannot take the exam without a valid registration in uSis.

NB If the exam concerns a paper or a practical assignment, you do not need to register in uSis.

Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

The exam of this course is a paper. This means that you do not have to register yourself for this exam in uSis.

Contact information

Co-ordinator is Dr. Kim Stroet