Linking research, practice and policy: innovative practices in STEM education

Ten years of successful international collaboration have established the University of Education Freiburg, Germany as a significant research centre and disseminator of innovative practices in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. Core features of our work and success are:

  • Connecting research, practice and policy perspectives
  • Focussing on both research and active dissemination of innovative STEM education concepts
  • Promoting sustainable networks at the European level linking relevant actors and stakeholders
  • Professional management of our activities in a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, educators and management professionals

A network for the dissemination of innovative practices in STEM education

Starting from project work that combined the research-based development of concepts and materials with a multi-stakeholder dissemination approach, we have established a European network to support the dissemination of innovative practices in STEM education. This network linking research, practice and policy in STEM education is unique in Europe. Today, the network comprises around 2000 contacts and connects STEM education researchers, teacher education institutions, teacher professional development networks, educational authorities and policy makers, industry representatives as well as teacher educators and teachers.

PRIMAS, a project that has been identified by the European Commisison as a Success Story for its merits (read report on public engagement innovations), was core to building a network spanning Europe. Ever since then our network activities kept expanding. Within the influential European project mascil, for example, a European STEM Professional Development Centre Network was founded. In our activities we collaborate closely with other European research institutions, projects and inivatives, for example with the European platform Scientix (coordinated by European Schoolnet).

ICSE: the foundation of the international research and transfer centre for STEM education

The year 2017 marked a pivotal step forward in the University of Education Freiburg's strategy to support international research on STEM education with its transfer into practice and policy across Europe: Decision was taken to establish the International Centre for STEM Education (ICSE). The Centre subsumes our successful activities in international research, transfer and networking, it sustainably links our institution to other key actors in Europe having a similar focus in research, and serves to strengthen further collaboration, for example through joint research or staff exchanges.

Read more about ICSE and its international and regional activities.