Carlien Nijdam

Researcher Excellence in Education


After her environmental sciences study (Van Hall Instituut, Groningen) she started working at the RIKZ (Rijksinstituut voor Kust en Zee) in Middelburg. Here she participated in a research into eutrofying the North Sea. After a couple of years, she started working at the DGW (Dienst Landelijk Gebied) in Goes. Here she worked on environmental issues within land consolidation programmes. While working in Goes she realized she wanted to be closer involved with education, in particular in the field of work of nature and environmental education. she started studying for her teacher’s certificate.
In 1997 she started working for the bachelor programme AET (Aquatic Eco Technology) at HZ and with great pleasure have further qualified herself in working with students and teaching. As from 2004 she taught nature, science and technology at the HZ Primary Teaching College. In 2014 she passed her ‘Master Leren en Innoveren’. Her graduation research was on teaching nature and technology within Outdoor education. She find it very interesting to explore the possibilities and contents of nature, science and technology education with future primary school teachers. Doing this she often recall her own primary school time where she often looked outside instead of in her school books and always played outside after school. She is still very much an outdoor person.

Why research into Excellence in Education in primary education interests her?
Based on her interest for (natural) environments and the possibilities such environments offer for learning and the development of children, she want to further explore the positive effects and give her best thinking about the design of environment for children. That environment can be the school environment, but also extracurricular supervision or integral child centres. Excellence in Education for me therefore consists of the further development of the importance and meaning of a natural environment for the development of children and involving professionals in it.