Public Understanding of Science and Research - Bildung und Wissen

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Given the significant impact of scientific discoveries in the biological disciplines, the Department of Bioscience Education at Goethe University Frankfurt focuses its efforts on communicating this knowledge to school science curricula and to the public at large in terms of public understanding of science and research.

Professor Klein´s research interests include environmental education, multimedia learning, inquiry-based learning and learning experiences. The focus of his investigations is the conceptual design and evaluation of experiment-based teaching units. In cooperation with his colleagues from the Department of Biological Sciences, Klein develops curriculum units that enable teachers to easily integrate scientific experiments into their classroom teaching. As a result, the students perform scientific inquiry – they use the same methods and ideas as scientists do when they are conducting research. Molecular experiments can, for example, be performed safely and inexpensively with the "GeniE – Genetics in Experiment" Learning Kit, which was developed in Klein's department. This kit includes numerous experimental activities such as isolating deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from cells. Using another learning kit called "Hominids for Schools", which was developed in cooperation with anthropologists from the Senckenberg Research Institute, human evolution can be included in the curriculum in a research-oriented manner. This project additionally contributes to education in Africa since one African school is given the learning kit for free of charge when a German school buys it.

Teaching and learning of the interdisciplinary subject biodiversity as well as environmental education are typically offered at locations outside the classroom, such as on field trips to museums, zoos and to natural settings (e. g. to Helgoland, Sylt) or study abroad (e. g. the Galapagos Islands).

"With our different research fields, we want to make a contribution to the quality of learning and teaching biological content in different areas of bioscience", explains Klein his objective.

Klein also does research on current developments in science education and the educational system in Germany in particular because controversial educational standards, core curricula, and competency-based learning have been introduced into German schools as a result of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

Brief Biography

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Subsequent to completion of his courses of study in biology, chemistry and sports in Bonn, Hans Peter Klein successfully completed both teachers' examinations for the German Gymnasium (grammar school). After completing his doctorate in 1979 on the topics of the microfilament system and endocytotic activities in amoeba proteus at the Institute of Cell Biology at the University of Bonn, he worked as a teacher at a German Gymnasium until 2000. During that time, several universities invited him to lecture on the topics of cell biology, electron microscopy, protozoology and teacher training. In 2001, Klein was appointed professor for bioscience education at the Goethe University Frankfurt. Since 2006 he has been President of the Society for Bioscience Education. He is also one of the founders and secretary of the Interdisciplinary Society for Education and Knowledge, which was founded in June 2010 at the University of Cologne. Klein accepted a guest professorship at the College of New Jersey/USA for 2011/2012.

Contact:

Prof. Dr. Hans Peter Klein
Department of Bioscience Education
Max-von-Laue-Str. 13
(Biologicum, Flügel D)
60438 Frankfurt am Main;
Germany
Telephone: +49 (0)69 798 42270
E-Mail: h.p.klein@bio.uni-frankfurt.de
www.bio.uni-frankfurt.de