Prof. Dr. Perry den Brok

Information for 1st International Conference on Critical Debates in Social Sciences (ICCDSS), Izmir, October 5-7, 2018


Quantitative methods in research on learning environments: an overview of past research and future trends

Prof. dr. Perry den Brok, Education and Learning Sciences group, Wageningen University and Research

Over the past 30 years, research has intensively studied classroom learning environments from the primary to the higher education context. This research has indicated some important dimensions or characteristics of classroom learning environments (including the role of the teacher or tutor) that are beneficial for student outcomes such as achievement or motivation. Also, research has shown how students’ perceptions of the learning environment are formed, how they differ from the perceptions of others (such as teachers) and what personal and other factors play a role in perceptions of the learning environment. Recent trends in research on learning environments include the growing flexibility and interdisciplinarity of learning content, an increasing role of ICT, a focus on hybrid or out-of-school environments and a focus on micro-processes. This has implications for research on learning environments, in terms of the research designs, instruments used to collect data, the types of analyses conducted, and so on. This lecture will start by providing a sort overview of past research on learning environments, and via the new trends will end by discussing the need for future developments in this type of research. I will argue, amongst others, that this involves stronger collaboration of educational researchers with other researchers – both within and outside the social sciences – and a need for further strengthening theory on learning, teaching and learning environments.


Prof. dr. Perry den Brok

Summary of curriculum vitae

Perry den Brok (1973) obtained his Ph.D. at Utrecht University (2001) on a study investigating the link between teacher behaviour on the one hand and student achievement and subject-related attitudes on the other hand, in the context of secondary education. He worked as a research associate at the department of Multicultural and Multilingual Education, George Mason University (Virginia, USA, 1999-2000) and was visiting scholar at the Science and Mathematics Education Centre (SMEC) of Curtin University of Technology (Perth, Australia, 2003). 

Between July 2001 and December 2005, he conducted a post-doctoral study at Utrecht University on teaching in multicultural classrooms and was educational consultant on projects in secondary and higher education. Between March 2007 and August 2010, Perry was associate professor at the Eindhoven School of Education (ESoE) the teacher education department at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). During this period, much of his research focused on learning environments and teacher development. In September 2010 he became full professor (chair: Educational Sciences for Science Education) at Eindhoven University as well as director of research. Between September 2015 and September 2017, Perry was director (dean) of the Eindhoven School of Education. Per October 1, 2017, Perry became professor and chair of the Education and Learning Sciences group at Wageningen University & Research.

During his Eindhoven period, Perry was intensively involved in the innovation of engineering education at Eindhoven University. He co-authored, for example, the TU/e vision on education that was formulated in 2013 and that had the title ‘Engineers for the future: an essay on engineering education at TU/e in 2030’. He also co-founded and was leader of the Eindhoven part of the 4TU Centre for Engineering Education.

One of the major tasks of his chair at Wageningen is to support and conduct research on educational innovation and the educational ecosystem at Wageningen University. Per September 12 of 2018, he was appointed as overall chair of the 4TU Centre for Engineering Education until 2021. Perry is also involved in teacher education and developments in secondary education. His chair group is responsible for the teacher education programmes at Wageningen. For the past 10 years, Perry was European editor of the Learning Environments Research journal (published by Springer), and he has co-authored many publications on topics involving teaching, learning environments, teacher education and teacher learning, and innovation in education.