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Published: 2018-06-19

Expert in chemistry education becomes honorary doctor

NEWS Ilka Parchmann, Professor and Vice President at Kiel University, has been appointed the 2018 honorary doctor at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå University in Sweden.

Text: Ingrid Söderbergh

Professor Ilka Parchmann studies chemistry education and has extensive experience in the field. Her experience has led to many international assignments, being keynote speaker at large didactics and science education conferences such as ESERA and ICCE, but also at subject-based conferences such as EuCheMS chemistry conferences, are some examples.

She is a member of the editorial board of several highly ranked didactics magazines and also the boards of organisations working to promote science education, for instance the IUPAC Committee on Chemistry Education.

In 2009, Ilka Parchmann came in contact with the research team Umeå Science Education Research, UmSER, and continued her collaboration with Umeå University. Since then, she has shared her knowledge and contributed to the doctoral education, research and education at Umeå University. Ilka Parchmann was visiting professor at the Department of Science and Mathematics Education, NMD, from 2011–2015. During this period she supervised five doctoral students at the department to various extent, for instance through a book project. She has co-authored several peer-reviewed scientific articles together with doctoral students and researchers at the Umeå department.

Between 2014 and 2018, Ilka Parchmann is participating, together with parts of her research team at Kiel University, in a research project at NMD funded by the Swedish Research Council. The topic of the project is cognition, approach to knowledge, interest and motivation into chemistry and is a comparison of student development in school years five up until eleven in Sweden and Germany.

When it comes to educational collaborations, Ilka Parchmann has initiated a project called BildungsHanse, between Nordic institutions of higher education together with Kiel University. Umeå University and Uppsala University are the only Swedish participants in this project. In the project, teacher students from various countries perform the same tasks and then compare their results via Skype, for instance how to introduce a class to the sciences to instil interest in pupils and show the subject's relevance. The subsequent discussions help create an understanding for the similarities and differences between the educational systems and the teacher assignment in the different countries, and in thus way increase the students' internationalisation skills in a tangible manner.

Professor Ilka Parchmann holds a key role not only to NMD, but also to the Faculty of Science and Technology and Umeå School of Education and these organisations' abilities to continue to develop and secure a natural sciences-oriented subject didactics in highly qualitative research and doctoral education. This is particularly important now that the research subject in the science and mathematics education is being resumed.

Ilka Parchmann was born in 1969 in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. After her Degree of Education in chemistry and biology in 1993, she completed her thesis in didactics of chemistry in 1997 at the University of Oldenburg. Since 2009, she is head of the Department of Chemistry Education at the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN) at Kiel University in Germany. Since 2014, she is also Vice President of Kiel University.

Ilka Parchmann will be conferred as honorary doctor at Umeå University at the Annual Celebration Ceremony on Saturday 20 October.

For more information about Ilka Parchmann, please contact:

Karolina Broman, senior lecturer at the Department of Science and Mathematics Education at Umeå University
Phone: +46 90-786 95 81
Email: karolina.broman@umu.se