pp 1–12 | Cite as

Professional development on connections to the world of work in mathematics and science education

  • Katja MaassEmail author
  • Katrin Engeln
Original Article


This paper addresses a particular aspect of 21st century skills: the potential of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to support students in developing skills for citizenship, life and careers. In this respect, including connections to the world of work in mathematics and science classes seems to be indispensable. Therefore, in this paper we outline the necessity of including such connections in education and the related theoretical background. We then present an international research study of long-term professional development courses involving inquiry-based learning and connections to the world of work. The course was designed on an international level for use in 13 countries and was subsequently implemented in these countries. The results of the pre-post study across all these countries show that such a course can indeed lead to the desired outcomes concerning the teachers and their teaching, but also that these outcomes are associated with teachers’ beliefs as well as their perceptions of policy support, classroom management and time issues.


21st century skills Connections to the world of work Inquiry-based learning Professional development International study Teachers’ perceptions on teaching Impediments to the implementation of innovative teaching approaches 



The project mascil received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under Grant agreement no. 320693. This paper reflects only the authors’ views and the European Union is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.


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Copyright information

© FIZ Karlsruhe 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Centre for STEM Education, University of education FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.IPN–Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics EducationKielGermany

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