To inspire and support teachers for good, Christian education. That is the mission of Driestar education for training and advising teachers, but also for the research centre. The research conducted by our research centre for Christian Teaching must be to serve this mission.
The research carried out by the Christian Teaching Research Centre is characterized by five keywords.
The research questions we want to answer come from the professional field and teachers apply the results of our research in that professional field. We even want to go a step further by allowing practitioners (often teachers) to be co-researchers of their practice.
Researchers in our research centre therefore work together with teachers to investigate their professional practice. But researchers also work together with educational advisors to make the outcomes fruitful for practice.
There is always a theoretical component of our research. Theory is necessary to be able to act responsibly. Usually, research builds on what we already know from other research and what has been incorporated into theoretical frameworks. Theory is also needed to be able to interpret the results. We also want to be able to account for the way we do research.
We strive to ensure that our research helps to improve (education) practice. Our research projects must be useful for the everyday work of teachers. That is why our study must be carried out in a practice-oriented and responsible manner, together with teachers.
We want to transfer the results of an investigation to other situations. We want to be of service to other schools than those that participated in a particular study. We express this with the term 'expandable' from one situation to another.
The research questions come from educational practice, and the results must be relevant. Both the training programmes and the schools in the field form the group of stakeholders in the research centre. The knowledge we acquire can be applied within the training programmes and finds its way to schools through advice, methods and products.
In this way, the research centre contributes to improving the quality of both the Driestar education programmes and the pedagogical practice of the schools in the work field.
The research centre is managed by the knowledge development manager. Our three professors lead the research offering with the following areas of focus: identity and personhood formation, school subjects and pedagogy, inclusive classrooms and teacher competencies.
Identity and personhood formation
The Christian teacher must have certain qualities to be the right guide for his students. They must be able to find the right resources to find their way in the constantly changing landscape, and they must be able to handle those resources. Also, they must have the willingness and ability to evolve continually, to keep up.
School subjects and pedagogy
Who the teacher is, is also reflected in what he does. The content and approach of school subjects and the educational choices made in them are an essential part of this. The subject content shows something of the multicoloured reality. Didactics has to do with the intersection of learning and teaching. Didactics concerns the goals and ideals, the choices in the subject matter (subject content), the forms of work, the order, and so on. Didactics is normative, and therefore a Christian perspective is essential. Projects that have this as an overarching theme take place within the teacher training for secondary education and primary education.
Inclusive classrooms and teacher competencies
Appropriate education gives all pupils the right to take lessons in regular training. This principle is in line with our Christian ideal of inclusive education. We already know a lot about organizational design but still far too little about equipping teachers. To support appropriate education, our research, therefore, focuses on the professionalization of the teacher and the team. The central question is: How can a teacher meet an increasing diversity of educational needs? The necessary attitude of teachers is crucial in this respect. How one looks determines how one acts.