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Professional Reflection-Oriented Focus on Inquiry-based Learning and Education through Science



University of Copenhagen



The University of Copenhagen (UCPH) has an enrolment of over 37,000 students and more than 7,000 employees, the University of Copenhagen is the largest institution of research and education in Denmark. The purpose of the University – to quote the University Statute – is to ’conduct research and provide further education to the highest academic level’.
Approximately one hundred different institutes, departments, laboratories, centres, museums, etc., form the nucleus of the University, where professors, lecturers and other academic staff, as well as most of the technical and administrative personnel, carry out their daily work, and where teaching takes place.
The Department of Science Education (DSE) does research, development work, communication and teaching within the field of science education (including mathematics). The Department is the largest Danish actor in science education research and development. The research focuses on didactical design of science education, including educational practices (specifically inquiry processes), assessment and evaluation, curriculum development and implementation, approaches to teaching and subjects, and scientific literacy. DSE is a main participant in Danish in-service and pre-service teacher education at the secondary level. Developmental work focuses on aspects of inquiry-based science and mathematics teaching at all educational levels. DSE and its staff has strong connections to central stakeholders in the Danish education environment, such as the Ministry of Education, Danish Science Gymnasiums, leading teacher training colleges, various science education related private foundations, organizations, and companies. It also has a strong international profile with members in the Executive Board of ESERA, Danish representative for GIREP, members in IAP. DSE has experience in leading international work on producing and testing products in teacher training in inquiry science education (ASSIST-ME, S-TEAM/Mind the Gap); teacher and teacher educator training (PreSEES, S-TEAM/Mind The Gap/Tempus/SETAC).

Dr. Jan Alexis Nielsen is a postdoctoral researcher at DSE. His research focuses on students’ argumentation on socio-scientific issues, teaching for innovation, and competence assessment. Dr. Nielsen’s current work primarily involves qualitative studies of long-term interventions at high schools, doing action research with teachers that are concerned with improving competence assessment both in the day-to-day teaching and in exam situations. He is currently engaged in national as well as international projects. For example, the Framework Programme 7 project ASSIST-ME; as well as the LLP/Comenius project PreSEES. He has previously participated in a Framework Programme 6 project (PARSEL), and in a Comenius project (ScienceMath). Further, he has participated in InterReg projects on science education development across the German-Danish border. Dr. Nielsen has a track record of publishing in key national and international peer-reviewed science education journals (Science Education, IJSE, RiSE, CJMSTE). Dr. Nielsen has taught university educators, prospective upper secondary school teachers as well as in-service teachers.

Claus Jessen is a science teacher at the innovative upper secondary school Ørestads gymnasium. He is also external lecturer at DSE, where his roles consists of participating in developmental projects and designing and teaching at DSE’s teacher further education courses – for example, in inquiry science teaching.

Local website of the PROFILES group of the Iniversity of Copenhagen
The PROFILES Project
The PROFILES Project