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Developing educational practices


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

Admission requirements

This course builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in the following Bachelor courses: Leren en leraar en Ontwikkelen van krachtige leeromgevingen.


This course is concerned with developing educational practices in a double sense: it studies backgrounds, meanings and consequences of changes occurring in educational institutions and the educational field, and it takes stock of interventions designed to enhance learning and instruction in such institutions. 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 analyze evidence-based education as the preferred model of organizing the relationship of educational research and educational practices, and improving education. In this context, it will also deal with background knowledge with regard to educational systems and educational policies.

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 practise 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 developing educational practices.

Achievement levels

1 Substantive knowledge

1.1 has profound knowledge of the various theories and methodological approaches common within the domain of one of the specialisations offered by the Master’s programme;
1.2 is able to analyse and conceptualise questions and problems in one of the specialisations offered by the Master’s programme;
1.3 has the capacity to identify a theoretical framework suitable for addressing problems and issues relevant for one of the specialisations offered by the Master’s programme;
1.4 has knowledge of models and methods of prevention and intervention relevant for one of the specialisations offered by the Master’s programme;
1.5 is acquainted with the professional field of the Master’s specialisation.

2 Research methods and statistics

2.1 is competent in methodological and technical research skills that are current in Education and Child Studies in general, and in the Master’s specialisation in particular;
2.2 is able to independently design, organise, and conduct research in one of the specialisations of the Masters’ programme;
2.3 is able to critically evaluate aspects of study design and methodology in empirical research.

3 Academic skills

3.1 describing and analysing practical and theoretical issues in human development from both a scientific and an ethical point of view;
3.2 analysing and evaluating scientific literature critically to establish its practical or theoretical relevance;
3.3 formulating a consistent line of reasoning, based on scientific arguments;
3.4 reporting orally and in writing on issues in human development both in an academic and in a professional context.

4 Professional conduct

4.1 connect scientific knowledge and insights to practical issues in human development;
4.2 analyse child-raising and/or educational issues and establish appropriate professional strategies;
4.3 collaborate with others and take responsibility in a professional team.


Mode of instruction

Lectures, work groups, individual assignments.

Assessment method

  • Presentation

  • Individual Paper


During this course Blackboard will be used.

Reading list

Study material will consist of recent book chapters as well as primary research articles from leading journals in education and psychology.
All articles will be digitally available on Blackboard a few weeks before the beginning of the course.


Please note that separate uSis registration is mandatory for lectures, seminars, exams and re-exams. Student who do not register, cannot attend courses or take exams.


  • Registration for the lectures of the course is possible as of 100 calendar days through 10 calendar days before the first lecture at the latest;

  • Registration for the seminars of the course is possible as of 100 calendar days through 10 calendar days before the first seminar at the latest.


Student must register for each exam through uSis. This is only possible until 10 calendar days before the exam. More information on exam registration

NB 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

Nader te bepalen/to be announced