Presentation of the Science Learning Centre Wien, University of Education (Pädagogische Hochschule Wien)

The University of Education (Pädagogische Hochschule Wien: PHW) in Vienna is Austria’s largest teacher training institution and offers an extensive programme of primary and secondary teacher professional development, both initial as well as in-service. Each year, 250 primary school teachers and 350 secondary school teachers leave the University of Education and PHW offers CPD professional development  to around 3,000 teachers/year from single trainings to two year professional development courses.

The established “Fachdidaktikzentrum” (science learning centre) for science and math education focuses on the dissemination of an inquiry-based and constructivist approach of learning in science and mathematics.  Its work is based on current research and uses strong links with schools and science centres, which are in integrated part of the initial teacher professional development. Its main aim is to broaden the methodological spectrum teachers are able to use in their classrooms and PHW tries to improve teachers’ conceptions of the nature of science and their conception of learning in science. Main research topics are i) science teacher’s competence development,  ii)  research- school-collaborations iii) successful implementation of kit boxes in schools and iv) linking formal and informal  science education.



Previous experience in European projects:

The Fachdidaktikzentrum  has gained a great deal of experience in different European projects

(Plant Science Gardens, Transnational  Science Lab, Fibonacci, PriSciNet).


Expertise in inquiry-based science education continuing professional development  for teachers and in the development of CPD courses:

The Fachdidaktikzentrum offers continuing professional development on inquiry-based science education from two day courses to courses with 20 days over two years. In most cases, PHW works with 20-25 teachers per training to offer the possibility of active interaction (both hands-on and minds-on). PHW has developed materials, kit boxes and books on science and mathematics education. With its newsletter and Facebook page PHW reaches more than 2000 teachers.


Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development:

The Fachdidaktikzentrum worked on different projects in education for sustainable development focusing on sustainable consumption and juvenile lifestyles.

My Life – My Style – My Future: Sustainable lifestyles and adolescent life realities

Able Youth: SustainABLE energy YOUTHers – Active research for a more sustainable energy use

Honored as UNESCO Best Practice Project on Education for Sustainable Development 

McKioto: Biocultural diversity, climate relevance and health impacts of younng people´s eating habits


Official links with a national or regional institution of reference working in science education and provider of informal science education:

The Fachdidaktikzentrum has close ties with the Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Ministry for Science and Research, the Austrian Academy of Sciences and various regional teacher networks. It also maintains close ties with stakeholders from industry that support the development and dissemination of kit boxes. In its trainings PHW often involves informal learning institutions such as the Vienna Open Lab, ZOOM Science Museum for Children, Science Centre Network, Vienna Botanical Garden, Natural History Museum and Technical Museum.


Role of the organisation in the SUSTAIN Network:

University of Education (Pädagogische Hochschule Wien: PHW) in Vienna will participate in one of three topic groups linking IBSE and ESD and collaborate with other CPD provider coordinators and teacher educators to develop teaching and training tools, European workshops and handbooks on the chosen topic.

It will lead the work package on quality assurance.

Project partners