The Education and Learning Sciences group (ELS) aims to understand and facilitate the enhancement of human potential in response to global challenges, in particular those in the domain of food and life sciences, such that humans can contribute to these challenges in a meaningful, responsible and critical manner, with knowledge and understanding of their own qualities and competencies. ELS contributes to understanding by being engaged in different types of research, and to facilitation by means of education and involvement in activities with societal impact, both internationally, nationally as well as locally at WUR.
ELS studies learning trajectories or scenarios, learning environments, learning processes and outcomes, and relations between these elements. Of major importance in this respect is the Wageningen educational ecosystem. The context of ELS work is formed by educational environments (in secondary, vocational and higher education), business and society (out-of-school and professional contexts), and the intersections between these (hybrid contexts). ELS wants to be on the forefront of developments in education and learning, and that its own education and research are exemplar for these developments. ELS collaborates with other sections and chair groups and the educational support staff at WUR, but also with companies, secondary education and vocational education institutes and other parties involved in the learning and education of individuals or groups, both in the Netherlands as well as internationally.
ELS is involved in research, education and activities with societal impact. ELS consists of a multidisciplinary team of dedicated staff. Educators, researchers and project staff collaborate in teams to fulfil the different tasks, and many staff members are involved in multiple tasks at these same time.
ELS conducts different types of research: fundamental research on learning and education as well as applied or contract based research projects or evaluations of educational or professional innovations.
As far as education is concerned, ELS education involves: (1) a range of modular skills courses and activities, targeted at BSc, MSc and PhD students and professionals in the fields of food and living environments; (2) an educational trajectory (30 ECTS) that leads to a (restricted) secondary degree in teaching for secondary education and that can be embedded both within the BSc (Educational minor) and outside the BSc (Educational module), and an orientation program for students that are not yet sure if they want to become teacher; (3) a variety of courses aimed at environmental education, learning for sustainable development, learning in businesses and entrepreneurship (including the MSc track Entrepreneurship).
ELS is engaged in a variety of activities with societal impact. These activities include keynotes and presentations, professional development activities, for example for novice teachers, international curriculum development projects, educational innovation projects, and activities in professional organizations.
ELS is a chair group within the domain of Social Sciences (SSG) at Wageningen University and Research (WUR). It is part of the section Business sciences, but in terms of focus, also has strong affinity with the section Communication, Philosophy and Technology. Within the section Business, ELS caters for a specific flagship theme called ‘learning’, a theme that supports the other major themes of the section: ‘inclusive business models’, ‘decision making along the value chain’, and ‘customer science’.