woensdag 27 juni 2012

Professor in Science Education

professor Maartje!
I apologise: professor of science education is not her official title. But she knows a heck of a lot about it and researches that topic. I am talking about prof. Maartje Raijmakers Phd.. Nearly six weeks ago she was installed as an affiliated professor Cognitive Development. Her inaugural speech (in Dutch only, sorry!) I thought was enlightning. Her goal is to gain further scientific insight in how children learn especially in the field of science and technology. A fascinating field as a a lot of assumptions are made on this process but surprisingly little actual research is done to provide fundaments to hypothesis made or to counter commonly used methods.

Exploring this field will undoubtedly be an innovative journey. To me her "professorship" in itself is an innovation, a huge step for science centers and others involved in what is commonly known as in- and/or nonformal education (the boundaries between the two are so theoretical). Maartje is professor on behalf of the Dutch National center Science and Technology/Science Center NEMO. And that alone is an innovation! Or maybe rather: a new step in the continuous professionalisation of the sector. A milestone in the development I'd say!

Maartje was so kind to be part of the annual sabbatical days of the education department of the Dutch National Center Science and Technology which I happily chaired. She shared her research with us and we discussed how to best feed into each others activities: the professionals from the educational department from their hands on/brains on work and Maartje from her scientific perspective. With Rooske Franse as the proverbial bridge between them as she is both working for the educational department and has taken up a position as Phd student with Maartje. I cannot wait to experience what this new milestone will mean for the National Center, Maartje, Rooske and the science center sector as a whole!

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