The Centre for Education Research at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht carries out applied research into the education profession, with the aim of improving quality and thus educational achievement. Evidence-based working is the starting point for the centre.
The determining factor for the quality of education is the quality of the teacher, and more specifically his or her pedagogical-didactic behavioural repertoire. And in that respect, the quality of the teacher trainer is vitally important. This has the highest priority in our centre, and forms the basis for the choices of our research groups.
All our research has immediate value to the professional practice of teaching. Our research questions are immediately recognized as relevant by practitioners; in fact, sometimes they even originate from the field of practice. This means that the results of our research not only lead to new scientific insights, but they are also put to good use in practice.
The Centre for Education Research counts both educational professionals and students at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht among its partners, as well as national and international organizations, such as the Expertise Centre for Professional Education (ECBO) and the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI). Together with these partners, the centre contributes to enhancing the skills of lecturers at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and it adapts its research results so that they can be directly applied in the curricula of the Faculty of Education. Representatives from professional practice also participate - on their own initiative and at the request of the centre - in our research and play an active role in the development of knowledge, making sure this knowledge is circulated.
Results for education
The professors, experts in their field, are the driving force behind the centre. They deploy their knowledge and experience to promote research and innovation within the professional field. The professors are supported by researchers, who typically combine this role with teaching activities. This combination leads to excellent connections between the research groups and the university’s degree programmes, facilitating the transfer of new knowledge from research to teaching.
HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht encourages its teachers to participate in their field and also to carry out doctoral research within it. Many students are also actively involved in conducting applied research. This is one reason why they will be excellently equipped to play a role in professional practice.
About the research groups
The Centre for Education Research consists of various research groups. Each research group focuses on several research lines. These are areas or themes in which one or more (doctoral) research studies are being carried out. The research groups in the Centre for Education Research are as follows:
- Vocational Education
This research group aims to contribute to the development, validation and dissemination of knowledge for improving the quality of vocational education.
- Deaf Studies
This research group aims to generate new knowledge through research into deaf culture, (the didactics of) NGT (Dutch Sign Language) and interpreting processes, and to disseminate this knowledge within HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, the deaf community and the profession field.
This research group focuses on translating knowledge about reading problems into teacher training and teaching practice, with the goal of achieving functional literacy for all students.
- Normative Professionalization
Teachers are constantly developing in their professional capacity. The applied research carried out by this research group contributes to the formation (or reformation) of the professional identity of teachers.
Research priority area
The Centre for Education Research is affiliated with the Neighbourhood Working and Learning Priority Area. This research priority area focuses on the concepts of community-building, citizenship and social inclusion. Within this research priority area, the School and Society research line aims to intensify citizens’ communal activities relating to bringing up children. The local school is the focal point for this.