These words describe a movement: from here to elsewhere, from now to later, from how things are to how they can be better. In education and training, we are constantly in motion: To inspire, from a desire to learn or a (social) need for more profound knowledge and ability, it takes principals and teachers who are capable and willing to make that move from something to something new.

To empower this movement, the centre of expertise Education & Development focuses on practice-based research and the sharing of expertise on new insights into learning and development, educational vision, policy and innovation. We conduct research with and for education and answer practical questions from school teams.

More specifically, we focus on the following fields:

  • Early childhood education with a focus on stimulating socio-emotional development and cognitive development
  • Innovative learning environments in education with a focus on school leadership, hybrid learning, development of vision on evaluation, modernization of secondary education and innovation in higher education
  • Transversal competences with a focus on self-direction, critical thinking, international orientation and agency; with a focus on giving voice, choice and ownership in learning and living together at school
  • Professional learning of school staff with a focus on starting teachers and school principals

This provides a range of research and development work that focuses mainly on two domains: the latest insights into learning processes and the meso- and macro-level of education. 

Our research is aimed at strengthening educational practice rather than fundamental knowledge development. The services we offer to schools are therefore a valorisation of (past) research projects: we respond to concrete questions by translating research expertise into a concrete context.

We consciously choose a collaborative position in our projects: students - adolescents as well as pre-schoolers - , teachers and school leaders take as much ownership and shared research responsibility as possible. We therefore conduct practice-based research with pupils, students and educational professionals, not about them.

This special combination of proximity and distance between the researcher and the person being researched characterizes our practice-based research. We aim to further deepen this 'involved distance' methodologically. By using creative, mostly qualitative research methods (such as arts-based research, action research, photovoice, development research, deliberative research, narrative research, video analysis,...) we want to better understand the complexity of teaching and learning. These innovative research methods also allow us to make the results accessible to a wide audience and to contribute to a social debate.