The Leibniz Institute for Science Education (IPN) was founded in 1966 as a research centre for science education. As an institute of the Leibniz Association with a nationwide function, IPN receives basic funds from the federal government and the commission of German states (Länder). IPN is also affiliated to the University of Kiel. The institute’s mission is to develop and promote science education through research. Its research therefore deals with the full range of issues concerning teaching and learning in the sciences, inside and outside schools. The institute comprises five departments: Educational Science (including Research Methodology and Statistics), Biology Education, Chemistry Education, Physics Education, and Mathematics Education. Approximately 140 people make up the IPN staff, and about 100 persons are working as scientists with a university degree, including 40 doctoral students. IPN's tasks range across the entire field of science and technology education. It concentrates on long-term and nationwide research projects, which cannot be covered by universities. The IPN research program focuses on aims, perspectives and curricula of science education (e.g. conceptions of scientific literacy or standards for science education), teaching-learning processes in science education (e.g. comparative video studies in physics instruction), innovative concepts for science teaching (contextualized chemistry / physics / biology instruction), computer-based diagnostic of competencies and research methodology (e.g. multidimensional adaptive tests; item response modelling), educational monitoring (national surveys), learning in and out of school across the lifespan (e.g. nationwide pilot programs for collaborative teacher professionalization; quality development for extracurricular activities in the mathematical-scientific-technological field). IPN has headed several nationwide projects to improve science and mathematics teaching and is partner in the EU-FP7 funded project Mind the Gap which focuses on improving science teaching through inquiry based science teaching. Within the German quality and teacher development program SINUS-Transfer a set of 11 modules for improving science and mathematics teaching have been developed, tested and successfully implemented in more than 1.700 schools. The aim of WP3 is to identify relevant modules that apply to the specific situations in the participating countries and disseminate them to different teacher training institutions at a European level. IPN is also involved in the project CROSSNET.
Role in the Project: IPN will be involved in the exchange and development of materials for teachers and students looking at current industrial developments with a special focus on energy processes (WP2). Additionally, they will contribute to the organisation and evaluation of teacher training programmes, both pre-service (university) and in-service (in-service chemistry teacher training centre) (WP3-5). Research studies on structures of the development of education partners and systems are also in preparation.