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Learning and Instruction


NB Language of instruction is English

Admission requirements

There are no formal admission requirements, however, this course is related to the courses Leren en Cognitie, Het Lerende Brein, Het lerende kind, Ontwikkelen van Krachtige Leeromgevingen, and Leren en Leraar. If you did not take these courses it might be helpful to examine their reading materials.


In this course we will focus on learning and instruction in the context of schools. Understanding how learning and instruction occur – and how they may fail – allows one to identify the conditions that promote the attainment of learning goals. In addition, it may lead to improved instructional design and interventions when learning is suboptimal.
In this course, students will read theoretical and empirical studies on the psychological processes that take place during learning, and on various teaching and instructional methods. Students will learn more about topics such as instructional processes and tools (e.g. educational games, assessment as a tool to promote learning), individual differences in learning needs, learning in specific areas such as reading and mathematics, collaborative learning, and motivation for learning. Special attention will be given to the implications for educational practice and child development.

Course objectives

The aim of this course is to help students gain a thorough understanding of the psychological processes that take place during learning, and apply/translate this knowledge to educational practice and instruction.

At completion of the course, students will be able to:
(1) demonstrate in-depth understanding of recent insights in learning, assessment, and instruction,
(2) do so with respect to general learning situations as well as specific areas (e.g., reading, mathematics), and
(3) discuss and evaluate the implications of knowledge of these processes for educators, teachers, trainers, and policy makers.

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

2.3 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

To ensure that students will attain a thorough knowledge, instruction will take a variety of forms, including lectures and group discussion as well as cooperative learning activities and group assignments. Students’ knowledge of the literature will be tested weekly by open-ended questions, and group assignments.In addition, students will conclude the course by individually writing a paper.

Assessment method

The final grade will be based on the quality of the individual paper (40%), weekly essay question grades (40%), and group assignments (20%).


The course manual, announcements, and links to the articles will be available on Blackboard.

Reading list

Study material will consist of recent book chapters and/or primary research articles from leading journals in education and psychology.

Links to all articles will be digitally available on Blackboard 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

For questions about this course email Marian Hickendorff