Course 14-T10: Neuroscience and Education: Complementary not Competing Sciences

Course description: 
This course introduces PhD-candidates (ICO students) to the quickly emerging field of ‘educational neuroscience’, also referred to as ‘mind, brain, and education’. While this new field can be positioned in many different fields (e.g., biology, medicine, psychology, et cetera) this course approaches the field as a sub-discipline of the Educational Sciences. In other words, the aim of this master class on educational neuroscience is to look at how theories and methods from the neurosciences can be used in conjunction with theories and methods from other educational sciences to inform and improve knowledge of learning and teaching. This is different from another popular conception of educational neuroscience, which aims to translate findings from neuroscience more or less directly to educational practice. Students in this master class learn how to integrate diverse methodological approaches, ranging from the highly controlled laboratory experiments typical to the neuroscience approach, to the qualitative approaches used in the social sciences. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to critically reflect on the current enthusiasm for a brain-based education. 

Course objectives:
After having completed this course, the student is able to: 
- discuss the major philosophies underlying learning in neuroscience and educational sciences with others in the field 
- interpret and evaluate the main theories and methods in neuroscience with respect to their relevance for / use in education, learning and teaching 
- interpret and evaluate neuroscientific literature with respect to the caveats in educational neuroscience and the attempts being made to resolve them 
- set up simple empirical studies in educational neuroscience 
- critically evaluate current studies in educational neuroscience 
- write and present a paper on an educational neuroscience topic 

Requirements/entry level:
Participants are required to be present at each of the three course meetings. 
The course requires a total time investment of 84 hours (i.e., 3 EC): 

Meetings: 18 hrs (see course programme)
Literature: 12 hrs 
Assignments: 54 hrs 
For more information on the assignments, download the course manual.

Course co-ordinators 
Prof dr. Lydia Krabbendam ( 
Prof dr. Paul A. Kirschner ( 
Lisanne Bos, MSc ( 

A basic knowledge of theories and methods applied in both the neurosciences and the educational sciences is required (see literature) 

Course Programme

The course contains three full day meetings with keynotes, plenary discussions and student presentations. The course is in English. 
Keynotes will be given by experts in the field of neuroscience and education. Further details will follow in September 2013. 
Participants in this master class will work in teams of three on the course tasks (both face-to-face during meetings and distributed between meetings). Papers and presentations are on a topic of choice within the field of educational neurosciences. Example topics will be available. 

March 12: Bert de Smedt, KU Leuven
March 25: Guillen Fernandez, Radboud Universiteit, Nijmege
April 15: Mariette Huizinga, VU Universiteit, Amsterdam.

Dates and location: 

Day 1, Wednesday March 12, 2014 (NEW DATE!)
- Introductory round robin of the participants, including expectations (0.5 hr) 
- Introduction to the course and the tasks (0.5 hr) 
- Introductory lecture on educational neuroscience (1 hr) 
- Keynote lecture and discussion (1.5 hrs): 
Bert De Smedt
- Team forming (0.5 hr) 
- Plenary and small group discussions and work (2 hrs) 

Day 2, Tuesday March 25, 2014 
- Keynote lecture and discussion (1.5 hrs) 
Guillen Fernandez  
- Student presentation of topic and outline of paper (2 hrs) 
- Plenary and small group discussions and work (2.5 hrs) 

Days 3, Tuesday April 15, 2014 
- Keynote lecture and discussion (1.5 hrs) 
Mariette Huizinga
- Student presentations of final paper (3 hrs) 
- Plenary discussion and evaluation (1.5 hrs) 

Studiecentrum Open Universiteit, Vondellaan 202, 3521 GZ Utrecht 
(20 minutes walking distance from railway station Utrecht CS).

No lunch will be provided so bring your own lunch!

The deadline for registration is January 15, 2014 (6 weeks prior to the start of the course).
ICO Education,
2 Oct 2013, 03:05