Rebuilding Education

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Rebuilding Education

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    The goal of the course is that the students will redesign an educational situation. They can choose between redesigning an educational experience they encountered themselves during their Bachelor, or an educational situation they observed during a field trip at secondary school Academy Tien in Utrecht. At the end of the course students will present their redesigns to a jury of stakeholders and educational experts. Finally, all redesigns will be bundled in an eBook to spread the initiatives beyond the network of Rebuilding Education.

    What is your best and worst learning experience? How would you redesign your own education if you could?

    The majority of our educational career is spent in formal learning environments as classrooms or lecture halls, where learners are too often positioned as passive (listening, watching, attending, consuming) rather than encouraged to engage as creators (designing, making, producing, constructing). In this course, students will actively (1) investigate different academic perspectives on educational innovation and (2) explore how to improve and redesign past or future learning experiences.

    By addressing the complex connections between neuroscience, cognitive development, social change, technology and education, the course will tackle questions such as: What do we know about sleep, adolescent brains and learning in the early morning? Could shifting school days improve attendance rates? Moreover, our current educational system is designed for the ‘average’ student, yet is this approach grounded in empirical research? Or does recognition of individual complexity require educators to design ‘to the edges’ instead?

    This course will introduce ground-breaking new perspectives taught by leading scholars, practitioners and thinkers in the field of education. Throughout the course students learn how such research and innovation can be applied to address personal real-world education challenges. Students will develop and present a research-based ‘action-plan’ to improve educational environments they encountered in their past or will encounter in their future educational path. The project should be grounded in science and naturally connect the student interests to the course themes.

    The course consists of six expert sessions and six workshops. Content knowledge is gained at home and mastered during the expert sessions. During the workshops, the majority of instructional time involves all students through active learning, enabling them to directly and collaboratively apply the knowledge to realize the students personal action-oriented goals. The course will be completed with two separate symposia, focusing academic and secondary education respectively.

    Research action plan (40%), Presentation of action plan (30%), Team-based learning test (20%) and individual quiz (10%).


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


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