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Professorship in Biology Education: Jorge Groß Combines Biological Science Education with Science Communication

Professorship in Biology Education: Jorge Groß Combines Biological Science Education with Science Communication

© Malte Michelsen | IDN

Starting with the winter semester 2023/24, Jorge Groß was appointed Professor of Biology Education at the Institute of Science Education (IDN) in Hanover, where he has taken over as Head of Biology Education. Since 2012, he has been Professor in Sciences Education at the Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg, where he is also Director of the Institute of Research and Development of Subject-Based Education (EE-feU). This was followed by an appointment to the chair of science education with a focus on biology education at the Philipps University of Marburg, where he established a new biology education programme. 
Jorge Groß is already well known in Hannover: Here he studied biology and chemistry as a teacher and graduated with a degree in biology. He then worked as a teacher and completed a degree in communication management in Kassel. After teaching and counselling activities in agencies, schools and extracurricular contexts, he returned to the university.

Committed to closely linking subject-specific research on teaching and learning with school practice

Professor Groß considers the interlinking of the three phases of teacher training to be particularly important for the professional training of prospective teachers at Leibniz University Hannover: in contrast to many other degree programmes, teachers not only complete a traineeship (first and second phase with first and second teacher training examinations) after completing their studies, they also take advantage of continuous professional development (third phase, with compulsory further training). Furthermore, Mr Groß has long been involved as a textbook author in addition to his research projects. Based on his research in the field of digital media, he advises schools, communication agencies, foundations, ministries, and extracurricular learning centres. He is therefore particularly looking forward to many new collaborations at Leibniz University Hannover.

Outstanding research and teaching in biology education

Together with his research group, Groß has developed the teaching-learning platform and app "ID-Logics". The aim is to utilise young people's affinity for digital media and guide them back into nature in a targeted manner. In addition to the dramatic extinction of species, the number of people who can (still) name species is also in sharp decline. However, as long as living creatures are unknown, learners cannot develop an appreciation for them or campaign for their protection. The inclusion of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in the curriculum is intended to address this situation. The "ID-Logics" app offers opportunities for participation in many (non-)educational contexts, in addition to linking digitality and the experience of nature. In contrast to automated identification via photos, ID-Logics encourages users to take a closer look and thus promotes learning: an intelligent, error-tolerant question and answer system, supported by short explanatory videos, safely guides users to the species they are looking for. The online platform that accompanies the app also enables networking with citizen science projects and the involvement of educational communities. Through this collaboration, ID-Logics builds a bridge between different parts of our society and makes global citizenship tangible. For this and other projects, Mr Groß has been awarded the Ars Legendi Faculty Prize 2017 and the Polytechnic Prize 2022, among others.

The Faculty of Natural Sciences congratulates Mr Groß on his professorship and wishes him every success in his endeavours.