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Learning and Instruction


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

Admission requirements

There are no formal admission requirements, however, this course is related to the courses Leren en Cognitie, Het Lerende Brein 2, Ontwikkelen van Krachtige Leeromgevingen, and Leren en Leraar. If you did not take these courses it might be helpful to examine their reading materials.


A big part of children’s development takes place in the context of schools. In this course we will focus on learning and instruction in this context. Understanding how learning and instruction occur – and how they may fail – allows one to identify the conditions that promote the reaching 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. educative games), individual differences in learning, gifted learners, learning in specific areas, such as reading and arithmetic and collaborative learning. In addition, professional learning, regarded as the construction of knowledge related to the teacher’s work to promote learning in their students, will be part of this course. Special attention will be given to the implications for educational practice and child development as well as to educational strategies to minimize gaps between education and work performance, and assessment as a tool to promote learning. Strengths and limitations of the various methodologies will be discussed.

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 education 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),
(3) demonstrate a sound understanding of methodological consideration in the investigation of these processes, and
(4) discuss and evaluate the implications of knowledge of these processes for educators, teachers, trainers, and policy makers.

The achievement levels of the Master’s programme Education and Child Studies are all applicable to this course.



Mode of instruction

To ensure that students will attain a thorough knowledge, instruction will take a variety of forms, including lectures, 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 writing a research proposal.

Assessment method

The final grade will be based on the quality of the research proposal (40%), weekly quiz grades (40%), and group assignments (20%). All components have to be satisfactory (5,5 or more).


Articles will be available on and student papers will be exchanged via Blackboard.

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 two months through one week before the first lecture at the latest;

  • Registration for the seminars of the course is possible as of two months through one week 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
h3. Contact information

For questions about this course email Jolien Mouw