Linking research, practice and policy: dissemination of 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 with a particular focus on mathematics, science, inquiry-based learning (IBL) and teacher professional development (PD) approaches
  • Establishing and promoting sustainable networks at the European level linking relevant actors and stakeholders and
  • Professional management of our activities in a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, educators and management professionals specialised in the fields relevant to our work

A network for the dissemination of innovative practices in STEM education

Starting from project work that combines a focus on research-based materials and concept development with a multi-stakeholder dissemination approach, we have established a European network of relevant actors and stakeholders for disseminating innovative practices in STEM education with a focus on mathematics and sciences. This network is unique in Europe with respect to its emphasis on linking research, practice and policy. Today, the network comprises around 2000 contacts from the fields of STEM education research, teacher education institutions, teacher professional development networks, educational authorities and policy makers both at the European and local levels, teacher educators and teachers who follow the latest developments.

PRIMAS, a project that has been identified by the European Commisison as a Success Story for its merits in the area of sustainable dissemination through extensive public communication and networking (read report on public engagement innovations), was core to building a network spanning Europe. Our network activities are continuousely expanded. Recently this happened in close connection with the influential FP7 project mascil, which promotes innovation in STEM education based on a multi-level and multi-stakeholder approach. As part of its activities a European STEM Professional Development Centre Network has been built. 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).

The foundation of an international research and transfer centre for STEM education

The year 2017 marks another step forward in the University of Education Freiburg's work linking European research on STEM education with its transfer into practice and policy. Decision has been taken to establish an International Centre for STEM Education (ICSE). The Centre shall subsume our successful activities in this field, formally and sustainably link our institution to key actors in Europe having a similar focus in research, and serve to strengthen further collaboration and networking in particular in the European arena (e.g., through further joint research and projects, a newsletter, staff and student exchanges, etc.).

Read more about ICSE and its international and regional activities.