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About usHow to find usdr. L.J.F. (Laurence) Guérin

dr. L.J.F. Guérin

Assistant Professor en coordinator Ethics of Education

Working together towrds Citizenship Education (2014-2019) with TechYourFurture

In the four year project “Working together towards scientific citizenship” companies, institutions, schools (Primary schools, secondary schools) and researchers from the Saxion, the University of Groningen (RUG) and the University of Twente (UT) collaborate in developing a programme of learning activities dealing with socio-scientific issues. This is a science programme aiming not only at vocational preparation, but also at citizenship education. It will be developed based on four educational principles derived from the dissertation research of Laurence Guérin: (1) practicing and developing argumentation skills, (2) connecting different perspectives (connected learning), (3) learning how to make group decisions and (4) learning to think together.

 Through the designed learning activities, students develop their scientific literacy by solving socio-scientific issues in groups. The issues form the heart of authentic learning tasks taking place in the classroom and outside the school, in companies and/or institutions. The programmes alternate learning tasks performed at school with learning assignments carried out within the companies and/or institutions, whereby companies and schools form an integrated and varied learning environment. In this way, students learn the relevance of science, and also its social relevance.

In the project, teachers learned to develop such learning activities, and to execute and to evaluate these. Teachers developed their professionalism by becoming proficient at applying the new approach and at supporting the learning process of the collaborating students using training and video coaching. In twos, the teachers developed the learning activities tailored towards the companies and institutions and in teams (primary/secondary education), they gave each other feedback, regarding both content and the applied educational principles. During the implementation of the lessons, the teachers and the companies and institutions monitored the practicability of the learning activities in order to gradually improve the programme of learning activities.

The companies and institutions are keen to co-operate because they anticipate that such lesson sequences will have a favourable effect on students’ interest in and their image of science. The schools and the education reform movements readily cooperate because they expect that science education will thus contribute to citizenship and will equip students for the future (citizenship education and 21st century skills).

The methodology we use is design-based research, whereby we evaluate both the design and its effects by means of a mixed-method approach. The effects of the intervention (i.e. the programmes of learning activities) are derived from four variables: (1) the students’ level of argumentation during their collaborative work on socio-scientific issues, (2) their knowledge of the scientific concepts to be dealt with, (3) their personal epistemology relating to science and (4) their motivation regarding science. For the variables (2), (3) and  (4), pre-measurements, intermediate and post-measurements will be carried out. These measurements will be enhanced with semi-structured interviews in order to ascertain the students’ image of science, their perceived self-competence and their interest for science. The students’ interest and their personal epistemology during collaborative working are measured in the course of the implementation of the lessons. The practicability of the learning activities (the design) will be evaluated by an analysis of the logbooks kept by the teachers during the intervention. In addition, the fidelity of implementation of group problem solving and the supervision of students by the teachers will be measured.

 Five companies participated in the design research (Machine factory Boessenkool,VDL Enabling Technology Group and URENCO, Hengelo Technology Museum (HEIM), European center for excellence for sustainable water technology, two nationwide reform education organisations (the Dutch Dalton Society and the Dutch Jena-plan Society (de Nederlandse Dalton Vereniging en de Nederlandse Jenaplan Vereniging), the Vereniging voor Bijzondere Scholen (schools that offer education based on a chosen confessional or pedagogical value orientation),  six primary schools and four secondary schools, the Saxion University of Applied sciences, the University of Groningen (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen ) and the University of Twente . Also, Technology pact Twente ( Techniekpact Twente) will include the project in its business plan for 2015.

 The most important practice oriented output products of the project will be:

(1) Educational materials and various learning activity programmes that stimulate scientific literacy, while simultaneously fostering citizenship.

(2) Professionalization activities for primary and secondary school teachers to stimulate students’ scientific literacy by means of group problem solving and dealing with socio-scientific issues.

(3) Training courses for schools and companies to design and implement integrated learning activities.


The principal academic output of the projects will be:

(1) Adaptations made to a questionnaire measuring student motivation and attitude towards science and developed by Van Aalderen-Smeets and Walma van der Molen (2013).

(2) Publishing a number of academic papers in international and national journals, such as Science Education, Cognition, Teacher and Teacher Education and Pedagogische Studiën.

[1]Quote of VDL, Almelo (2014): “We willen leerlingen bereiken die geen expliciete interesse hebben voor bèta en techniek, maar wel in potentie. We denken dat het project “Samen werken aan bèta burgerschap” deze groep leerlingen kan bereiken door bèta en techniek in een bredere maatschappelijk context te plaatsen” “We would like to reach those students who do not have an explicit interest in science and technology, but do potentially. We believe that the project “Working together towards scientific citizenship” could reach this groep of students by placing sciencein a broader context of society”

[2]Quote van Jaap Meijer, director of the Dutch Jena-plan Society (2014) “This project is important to us. We want to prepare students for the future, to teach them argumentation skills and to embed science in a broader context. We particularly see the connection with the companies as an advantage. It creates an authentic context for learning.(  “Dit project is belangrijk voor ons. We willen leerlingen voorbereiden op de toekomst, ze leren argumenteren en bèta en techniek verankeren in bredere context. Vooral de koppeling met de bedrijven zien we als een voordeel.” Het creëert een authentieke leercontext.”)


Last modified:04 March 2019 07.49 a.m.

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