Educational research is highly rewarding. It is a pleasure to work with the dedicated professionals that you can find at all levels of the educational system, and it is great to work with schools to improve teaching and learning.
With my colleagues Chris van Klaveren and Ilja Cornelisz I founded ACLA, the Amsterdam Center for Learning Analytics. Our focus is on making lesson study work for education, but also on personalized learning, a term that denotes systems of education in which students follow their own learning trajectory as much as is possible. We look at how it is currently being implemented, and what can be done to improve these implementations. This work is done mostly in close collaboration with schools.
Teachers are central in education, and for educational researchers it is just as central ot investigate how they work and what the think. I've done several studies on what teachers know about their students, and whether they can predict how well those students will do.
The second party in education is students. To get them to work they have to be motivated. But what does that mean? How to make sense of the hundreds of terms floating around in theories of motivation? With postdoc Van Vu and several collaborators, I try to provide a map of the theoretical forest. Moreover, I have done studies on whether student ratings of how interesting assignments are predict how hard they will work on it. Spoiler alert: not so much.
As a typical fox in research, I've also taken up many other topics in education science: how to get predict dropout in vocational and university education, flexible testing, student participation in working groups, etc.