International visit at the IPN: Interview with Visiting Professor Jan van Driel

Prof. Jan van Driel

The Dutch Visiting Professor Jan van Driel from the University of Melbourne will visit the IPN starting June 20th.

Jan van Driel is a Professor of Science Education at the University of Melbourne and co-director of the Mathematics, Science & Technology Education Group (MSTEG) at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. His research focuses on the interface between science education and teacher education, having published in this area in leading international journals. From 2016 to 2022 he also served as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Science Education .

Currently, Prof. van Driel collaborates closely with the IPN Department of Biology Education, especially with its deputy department director Prof. Dr. Moritz Krell. Prof. van Driel has been supporting the department as an international visiting professor  since the beginning of 2023. From June 20th to July 14th, he will personally come to the IPN in Kiel in the context of this visiting professorship to meet with researchers on site and to further advance the collaboration.

Before embarking on this month-long visit, we spoke with Prof. van Driel and asked him about the background of the visit, his research and his expectations:

IPN: Welcome to the IPN in Kiel, Prof. Jan van Driel! We are pleased that you are visiting our institute. How did the visiting professorship and one-month research visit at the IPN come about?

Prof. Jan van Driel: My visiting professorship comes out of ongoing collaboration with Prof Moritz Krell. We have been doing collaborative research projects since 2017 when Moritz visited the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Since then, we have published several articles together and successfully applied for research funding. Also, I hosted one of Moritz’ PhD students last year, and just recently one of my colleagues visited IPN.

IPN: What exactly will you be doing at the IPN? What will your day-to-day work include?

Prof. Jan van Driel: Our collaborative research focuses on the teaching of scientific reasoning competences, and how teachers can develop their expertise in this domain. So, some of the work at IPN will focus on this area. In addition, I will be meeting with IPN staff and students to learn about research and give them feedback. I will also deliver a workshop on how to publish research in international journals. For this workshop, I will draw on my experience as editor and reviewer for various journals.

IPN: What are your research interests during your stay?

Prof. Jan van Driel: As I explained above, the teaching of scientific reasoning competences is one of my areas of interest. Related to this, I am also interested in the teaching of models and modelling in science education. More broadly, I have an interest in the development of science teachers’ knowledge and beliefs, for example in the context of initial teacher education or educational reform.

IPN: Do you have any wishes and expectations for your visit here at the IPN?

Prof. Jan van Driel: I am really looking forward to meeting and engaging with staff and students at IPN. I have always considered IPN as a world leading institute in research on science education and I have had connections with various staff at IPN for many years. I hope that my visit will boost the connections between IPN and the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, leading to more exchange of staff and students.

IPN: Thank you so much for giving us insight into you research and your cooperation with IPN!