Why the SDU Centre for Primary and Lower Secondary Education Research?
Many parties see a pronounced need for practice-oriented research in primary and lower secondary education, e.g. within subjects such as subject didactics (science, foreign language subjects, Danish, social studies, PE etc.), school management and cross-disciplinary didactic and pedagogical areas such as technology and intercultural pedagogy. The need is due, among other things, to reforms of primary and lower secondary school and teacher training, with new requirements for research-based teacher training. There is a political desire to strengthen the professionalism and quality of teaching through close dialogue and collaboration between research and practice. The need for primary and lower secondary school research is currently not sufficiently covered by either the university colleges’ own research units or other educational research environments in Denmark. SDU’s Centre for Primary and Lower Secondary Education Research seeks to help improve these matters by pursuing the Centre’s vision of doing research in, with and for the primary and lower secondary school sector. This means that we will both support exploratory research in primary and lower secondary school education, change-oriented research with primary and lower secondary school actors and will do so with the politically formulated goals and visions for the primary and lower secondary school sector as well as among educational researchers. We are thus preoccupied with the agendas of others, but also set our own.
At SDU, we have a strong tradition of didactic and pedagogical research and collaboration with the education sector. In recent years, we have intensified our project collaboration with university colleges on practice-oriented research and development. In addition, SDU has a practice and profession-oriented approach to school research, which has led to a string of successful project implementations. At present, however, SDU’s research does not make full use of the potential that can be generated through capacity building and collaboration with vocational educations as well as public and market-based actors. The Centre must work to realise this potential. The Centre has currently received funding to start projects from 2020 to 2023, and we will work to coordinate research environments and attract internal and external funds for research and development, allowing us to be sustainable well into the future.
Who are we?
The Centre for Primary and Lower Secondary Education Research is a collaboration between educational research environments at the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Science at the University of Southern Denmark, as well as researchers and teacher educators at the vocational colleges and other institutions we collaborate with.
At the daily operational level, the Centre for Primary and Lower Secondary Education Research is managed by a centre management. Centre management includes a representative from the three SDU faculties involved and are:
Nikolaj Elf, Professor of Educational Sciences, Department for the Study of Culture and Head of the Centre for Primary and Lower Secondary Education Research
Thomas Skovgaard, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, Head of Centre, FIIBL. Co-Head of the Centre for Primary and Lower Secondary Education Research
Connie Svabo, Professor, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. Co-Head of the Centre for Primary and Lower Secondary Education Research
The Centre is administratively supported by Marianne Horn, Centre Coordinator, Department for the Study of Culture
The Centre for Primary and Lower Secondary Education Research has established a coordination council consisting of Deans Marianne Holmer, Ole Skøtt and Simon Møberg Torp (chairman) from the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Humanities at SDU; Birthe Friis Mortensen, Rector of UC Syd; and Pro-rector Alexander von Oettingen, UC Syd, Jens Mejer Pedersen, Rector of UCL University College and UCL Director Charlotte Worm. The members of the Coordination Council discuss the Centre’s long-term plans in dialogue with the centre management. In addition, the Centre is in ongoing dialogue with partners from other university colleges, universities and national knowledge centres regarding tenders, projects, etc. on joint projects and collaboration opportunities.
In the long term, an external advisory board will be established.
Where to find us at SDU
The Centre for Primary and Lower Secondary Education Research is a centre without walls. This means that we first and foremost perceive ourselves as a closely connected working community. The Centre will create meeting places for this working community across the involved researchers, teacher trainers, teachers, etc. at the relevant departments, faculties and institutions involved.
Administratively, the Centre is anchored at the Department for the Study of Culture, SDU. Here the Centre houses the Head of Centre and the Centre Coordinator, and here we also have the opportunity to hold meetings. We also use SDU for large events. However, we also intend to hold meetings and other major events at our partner institutions, and it is planned that our partners will host projects and events, too.