Partner 1 [UU]

Utrecht University, founded in 1636, is a globally leading Dutch university with 7 faculties, about 30.000 students, 7500 staff members and a budget of 750 million euro. The Freudenthal Institute for science and mathematics education (FIsme) is a research institute in the Faculty of Science aiming at the improvement of secondary science and mathematics education, both formal and informal. FIsme also engages in science and mathematics teacher education, the continuous professional development of teachers, curriculum development and outreach activities.

An important research focus of the biology education section in FIsme is education of socio-scientific issues of STEM, in particular education of the life sciences. FIsme manages a programme of design research aimed at embedding the Dutch ‘DNA labs on the Road’ and literacy on life sciences in science education and teacher training. These projects are carried out in cooperation with CSG Centre for Society and the Life Sciences (Radboud University, Nijmegen). FIsme is well respected for its expertise and is a prominent partner in this field, both national and international. It is leading in teacher education in science and mathematics and curriculum development, and organise international expert meetings. 

WP Involvement

Project coordinator, involved in all work packages

UU local webpage [nl]

UU PARRISE Brochure [nl]

Team Profile

Marie-Christine Knippels, biologist, Ph.D. in genetics education (2002), assistant professor in biology education since 2007, head of the biology education team in FIsme. She did a project on moral reasoning in genomics-related dilemmas with the use of fictional/ future movie clips. She provided educational consultancy for teams involved in designing and performing the Dutch ‘DNA labs on the Road’. She teaches in bachelor and master science courses for future teachers. Currently, she is involved in a design research project concerning strategies for empowering students in decision-making on genetic testing and techno-moral issues (synthetic biology) in secondary education.

Frans van Dam, biologist, M.Sc. in molecular biology (1990) coordinates the public and education activities CSG Centre for Society and the Life Sciences, a national centre, funded by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative. He is national coordinator of the ‘DNA labs on the Road’, aimed at secondary high schools. In addition he manages the website for life sciences education www.allesoverDNA.nl.  He has organized numerous stakeholder conferences on biotechnology and the life sciences and carried out the first public enquiry on genomics in The Netherlands. He co-organised the nation-wide public debates on xenotransplantation and genetically modified food.

Arend Jan Waarlo, professor of genetics & health communication since 2003, biologist, Ph.D. in health education (1989). He was engaged in the Utrecht Master’s Degree Programme ‘Science Education and Communication’. From 2000 to 2004 he was a member of the Academic Committee of the European Researchers in Didactics of Biology (ERIDOB). His current research interest is in acquiring genomics-related opinion-forming competence. Since 2008 he is also principal investigator Genomics education and communication at CSG Centre for Society and the Life Sciences in the Netherlands.

Paul van der Zande, biologist, Ph.D., Teacher educator. Teacher expertise in genetics education (2011), assistant professor in biology teacher education since 2000. Biology teacher from 1982 until 2002. Member of the Dutch National Comity for Curriculum Innovation Biology Education (CVBO), 2003-2007. 

Michiel van Harskamp, biologist, M.Sc. in science education and communication (2016), is currently working for both the EU PARRISE project and the EU Synenergene project. He wrote two theses during his Master’s programme at FIsme, one on supporting teachers during educational change (2013), and the other on design guidelines for virtual laboratories offering visualisations during synthetic biology education (2016). Additionally, he has completed internships at several secondary schools across The Netherlands, and in the Museon, a science centre and museum in The Hague, The Netherlands, where he designed an exhibit on urban agriculture.

European Commission

PARRISE (grant agreement 612438) is a four year programme (2014-2017) funded by the European Commission.

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