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* MaSDIV (dutch)



  • Supporting Mathematics and Science teachers in addressing DIVersity and promoting fundamental values
  • European project on STEM and cultural diversity
  • Erasmus+ Programme, Key Action 3: support for policy reform — initiatives for policy innovation, European policy experimentations in the fields of education, training and youth led by high-level
  • See also IncluSMe



  • University of education Freiburg (PHFR), Germany
  • University of Jaen, Spain
  • Hacettepe University, Turkey
  • University of Nicosia, Cyprus
  • University of Malta
  • University of Utrecht, The Netherlands


The aim of the policy measure is to support STEM teachers (in line with ET 2020 priorities) in ensuring basic skills for all learners and in promoting fundamental democratic values through intercultural learning, respecting diversity, engaging in critical thinking and exercise judgement (Paris declaration). To reach this aim we will set up regional, specialised mathematics & science professional development (PD) centres (or attach them to existing centres) which will provide this support to teachers. These PD centres will conceptualise and offer innovative professional development courses for science and mathematics in-service teachers addressing cultural diversity.


This proposal addresses priority 1 – Promoting fundamental values through education and training addressing diversity in the learning environment – through a measure that will support teachers to (1) deliver inclusive education for all students, (2) build active citizenship and (3) support intercultural learning in mathematics and science classrooms. Our approach provides an evidence-based way to tackle current challenges in science education: Underachievement; linking science competences with social and civic competences; and effectively supporting teachers to deal with increasing social, cultural and competence-related diversity in their classrooms.

Science and mathematics (from now jointly referred to as science) are vital prerequisites for active participation in society and belong to the eight key competences as listed by the EU (cf. EU framework for key competences, EC 2007). However, across the EU, 17% of 15-year-olds underachieve in science and 22% in maths - and among students with low socioeconomic status even 36.6% (ET 2020). 13.7 million young people - those with migration backgrounds are particularly concerned here - are not in employment, education or training (Youth Report 2015). These young people are less involved in social and political life, and at risk of exclusion and marginalisation (ibid.), which in turn is a risk to our societies. Increased migration and the recent refugee influx enhance the need for inclusive education that promotes learning in groups with different competence levels and cultural backgrounds and “disadvantaged” students (see also Eurydice 2016). Science has social, cultural and ethical dimensions (e.g. the decision for or against genetic engineering in agriculture in developing countries). Therefore, science learning should be used to promote cultural awareness, critical thinking, decision making and consequently, social and civic competences (cf. EC 2007). However, conventionally, science education has focused on the ‘learning of science’ (Hazelkorn et al. 2015). This means pure science detached from societal implications, as opposed to learning ‘of and about science’. The latter fosters young peoples’ understanding of the nature, applications and implications of science and thus, they learn principles and competences vital in democratic, pluralistic and increasingly multi-cultural European societies. In this sense, science education is also citizenship education as envisaged by the Paris declaration 2015 and ET2020.

Delivering inclusive science education linked to citizenship education is, however, not a trivial task. Consequently teachers need support (EU-WG MST 2013, EU-WG PD 2013, Arjomand et al. 2013). Here, we find shortcomings in Europe. Experts have marked out a need to substantially improve the quality of science PD offers (Hazelkorn et al. 2015) and mismatches exist between teachers’ expressed need for training in suitable approaches and the course offerings available (Eurydice 2015).

A lack of adequate PD offers and an increased need for inclusive science education approaches (due to increased diversity in classrooms) concerns all countries in the proposal. And, in all partner countries, policy has recognised the need to better support science teachers in these areas.

Our Policy experimentation will concern a measure suitable to jointly address the challenges described. Transnational cooperation will provide ways forward in transferring and scaling up this innovative measure.



Versions of this document

  • 20171004, literature added
  • 20161017, wikiteam
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