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Evidence-Based Education

Research is at the core of the Master Evidence-Based Education

Research is at the core of the Master Evidence-Based Education. We are embedded in the Groningen Institute for Educational Research (GION), which allows for smooth connections between the research we do and the courses we teach. This means that your research project (Master's thesis) will be supervised by active researchers in the field, and that your project will be closely connected to a larger research initiative.

Examples of large projects being conducted at the moment are:

Success for All – the Netherlands: Comprehensive school reform focused on reading development of children from disadvantages socioeconomic backgrounds. Developed in the United States and replicated in the Netherlands.
Gazelle: Project aimed at supporting self-directed learning of students in secondary education by means of a digital learning environment.
Cool 5-18: Large scale longitudinal research project into the school careers of 20.000 students.

Our staff members contribute with their expertise in diverse topics within the educational sciences, such as:

  • Educational effectiveness and evaluation;
  • Educational policy and administration;
  • Comparative education;
  • Behavioural decision and motivation;
  • Technology enhanced learning;
  • Collaborative learning;
  • Self-regulated learning and executive functioning;
  • Classroom interactions and instructional quality;
  • Differentiation and adaptive teaching;
  • Research methods and (advanced) statistics.

Some of our staff members are:

Prof. dr. Roel J. Bosker, Programme director,
Course(s): Advanced Research Methods.
Expertise: Evidence-based education, educational effectiveness and evaluation; multilevel modelling.

Dr. Hanke Korpershoek,
Course(s): Evidence-Based Education.
Expertise: Behavioural decision and motivation; classroom management; school systems.

Dr. Mayra Mascareño Lara, Programme coordinator,
Course(s): Methods and Techniques for Educational Research, and Capita Selecta: Systematic review.
Expertise: Classroom interactions; instructional quality; development in early childhood.

Prof. dr. Jan-Willem Strijbos,
Course(s): Digital learning environments (optional).
Expertise: Technology enhanced learning; collaborative learning; Peer assessment and feedback.

  • Testimonial van

    We have the strong belief that education has the power to transform lives

  • Testimonial van student Yohei Kato

    Evidence-Based Education is a relatively small programme, but as a result I can effectively communicate with the other students and the professors at a deeper level.

    My name is Yohei Kato, and I am originally from Japan. I have a Japanese Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. After graduation, I worked as an international tax consultant for Deloitte for two years. My daily work was full of numbers and tax laws, and one day I realized that my passion was a little bit different. I have always been intrigued by how the human mind develops so I decided to quit my job and move to the US to do a Master's degree in Developmental Psychology.

    Next I worked as a maths teacher for two years in New York and Los Angeles. After a while I realized that I love research as much as I love teaching. I was determined to switch my career from teacher to scientist, so I applied for a Master’s programme at the UG. I gained my second Master’s in Talent Development and Creativity last year and I am currently on my third Master’s programme, Evidence-Based Education.

    When I lived in the US, I visited a developmental psychologist at Harvard whom I greatly respected. He introduced me to his collaborator at the UG and I decided to continue my studies here. I was not very familiar with the Netherlands or Dutch culture, but I feel that this is the right place for me. Dutch culture is very rich, and what strikes me the most is the difference in sense of time. Everything in Japan happens really quickly, especially in Tokyo; people are always pressed for time. The Dutch are more easy-going.

    I really love the Evidence-Based Education programme. Every professor is very knowledgeable, and all the lectures are insightful and scientifically rigorous. They provide me with plenty of theories and skills regarding educational research. Evidence-Based Education is a relatively small programme, but as a result I can effectively communicate with the other students and the professors at a deeper level.

    After this programme, I would like to find a PhD position. It is my ambition to become a scientist and a professor.

    Yohei Kato, age 31, MA student in Evidence-Based Education

    – student Yohei Kato
  • Testimonial van lecturer/coordinator Mayra Mascareno

    Mayra Mascareno – Assistant Professor in the field of Education and Educational Research

    I am the coordinator of the Evidence-Based Education Master's track. I am also a researcher and a lecturer on the same programme. I teach two course units for the Master's in Educational Sciences and the Evidence-Based Education track. One of them is 'Methods and techniques for evaluation research', which focuses on examining educational interventions, with a particular emphasis on how to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of programmes.

    I also teach a course unit in systematic literature reviews. Methodology plays a major role in the course units I teach, and is necessary in order to achieve one goal of our programme: that research results reach educational practice.

    Closing the gap between research and educational practice: that is the core idea behind the Evidence-Based Education programme. There is a lot of research out there, but the findings won’t necessarily reach educational settings. This has several reasons, such as researchers being too focused on their own agendas and practitioners not being able to fully understand what is actually being communicated. This is known as a ‘translation’ problem. This track is designed to help our graduates master that translation. 

    My areas of expertise are early childhood education, learning and instruction, and learning opportunities in the classroom. There is a whole combination of factors that make these areas interesting. What I am mainly interested in is how interactions among people help us learn. These interactions are shaped by many different factors. These could be teacher’s characteristics, their personal ideas about teaching, and of course, the students’ characteristics. Everything shapes our interactions and in the end interactions are key to learning.

    This track is interesting for students who are interested in improving education, students who are already embedded in educational settings and feel the need to improve this context, and students who want to think critically about educational change, what it is based on and how it is implemented.

    After this track there are many job opportunities for educational scientists. Our graduates can become educational consultants, policymakers, educational programme developers, school principals. There is a wide range of career opportunities: from the micro level of the educational system, focused on the improvement of everyday classroom practice, to macro levels of the system focusing on orienting future educational policies. The core is the same, though: a critical, informed and rigorous approach to educational innovation.

    – lecturer/coordinator Mayra Mascareno
  • Testimonial van alumnus Elene Romelashvili

    I still teach at the international school and I work for the government, for a department at the Ministry of Justice that works on the development and improvement of public services in Georgia.

    I did my Bachelor's in Applied Math in Georgia, my home country. For my Master's, also in Applied Math, I went to the US. During this Master's I had my first teaching experience. I taught undergraduate students as a Teaching Assistant. That was when I discovered that I liked teaching.

    After my Master's, I returned to Georgia and became a teacher at a British international school in Tbilisi, where I taught mathematics and economics. I enjoyed teaching but I wanted to learn more about education, for example about student motivation, learning methods and educational effectiveness. After five years, I decided to go to Groningen to do the Master's Programme ' Evidence Based Education'.

    In my Master's programme, I particularly liked doing research. My master's thesis was about teacher effectiveness, and I found working on it a great experience. Amongst the courses I took, I found the course about learning problems very useful, because inclusive education in Georgia is not well developed.

    Education in the Netherlands is quite different from education in Georgia. In the Netherlands all universities are leading research universities, so all professors are also leading researchers. In Georgia, the government does not fund research, so the universities are only oriented on teaching. Since professors do not conduct research, they are less aware of major developments in their field, which I think is important, especially in the social sciences.
    I now live in Tbilisi, where I have two jobs. I still teach at the international school and I work for the government, for a department at the Ministry of Justice that works on the development and
    improvement of public services in Georgia. I use the research and writing skills that I developed in Groningen a lot.

    I would recommend this Master's programme to anyone interested in educational research. It is very intensive since it is only one year and there are a lot of courses you need to take and a lot of deadlines you have to meet, but it gives you the opportunity to accomplish a lot in a short period of time. Studying in Groningen is really great. It is a fantastic city. Even the weather was not as bad as advertised, at least not in the year I was there.

    – alumnus Elene Romelashvili
  • Testimonial van alumnus Ning Ding

    lecturer business research methods & statistics at Hanze University of Applied Sciences

    I started my 'International Master in Education' degree programme (now called 'Evidence Based Education') in 2003. I had already received my bachelor's degree in 'History Education in China' and studied 'Adult Education' in Germany. But before I started my Master's at the University of Groningen, I had only learned how to be a qualified teacher.

    During the master's programme, I learned how to conduct educational research. I enjoyed that so much that I decided to stay at the RUG for a PhD, and I followed a very interesting course about how to use computers in teaching. I found it inspiring and my PhD focused on this topic. I investigated how to use computers to facilitate students' communication and collaboration. After my PhD, I continued as a post-doc researcher, also in the context of educational technology.

    Upon my arrival in Groningen, I assumed the lectures would be the same as in Germany, where I only had lectures, no seminars, and where there wasn't much communication between the teacher and the student. To my surprise, I found out that it was quite different here, and that the Dutch teachers are actually very communicative and friendly. I enjoyed going to class. The master courses have definitely laid a solid basis for my career as a researcher and university lecturer. The research methods I learned from this programme are also still very useful.

    I now work at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, where I teach business research methods and statistics. I really enjoy it because I can teach a lot more than during my post-doc, where I only taught a few classes and I didn't have much contact with my students. Also, when I published research articles I tended to think: who will read them? Now, at the Hanze I can directly apply my research findings into my teaching and share my findings with my colleagues.

    In 2014, I was the instructional designer of the first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) of the Hanze University. It was the first MOOC of a Dutch HBO Institute about economics. Till now, we've ran this MOOC four times, and we have reached students all over the world. This is a good example of something that I used to do research on and which I now apply in practice.

    – alumnus Ning Ding
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