The Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN) was established in 1966 as a research center for science education. As an institute of the Leibniz Association, the IPN has a nationwide function. It is also affiliated to the University of Kiel. The department heads at the IPN hold professorships at the University of Kiel.
The institute’s mission is to advance science and mathematics education through its research. Therefore, research deals with the full range of issues concerning teaching and learning in the sciences and in mathematics inside and outside schools. The institute comprises six departments: Educational Research, Educational Assessment and Measurement, Biology Education, Chemistry Education, Mathematics Education, and Physics Education. Approximately 170 people make up the IPN staff; about 130 work as researchers, including 60 doctoral students. About 50% of the staff work on projects funded by different research foundations or clients.
The IPN’s work ranges across the entire field of science, mathematics, and technology education. The IPN concentrates on long-term and nationwide research projects, which cannot be covered by universities.
The IPN research program focuses on following areas:
- Aims and models of mathematics and science education
- Prerequisites for teaching and learning mathematics and science
- Implementation and Evaluation of Concepts for Subject-Specific Teaching and Learning Processes in Mathematics and Science
- Promotion of Mathematics and Science through Competitions and Supplementary Learning Opportunities
- Educational Assessment and Measurement
Besides its research activities, the IPN offers different transfer activities: Coordination of national and international student competitions in biology, chemistry, physics and environmental issues, programs for teacher education, and publications on science and mathematics education addressing teachers and scientists.