Lisette Wijnia

Professor Educational Excellence in Secondary Education


Dr. Professor of Educational Excellence in Secondary Education. The professorship is a collaboration between the HZ University of Applied Sciences and the Roosevelt Center for Excellence in Education. One of the professorship’s important missions is safeguarding the best development of every student, regardless of his or her level or support system. This professorship is financed by secondary schools in Zeeland, organised together under the Zeeuws Bestuurdersoverleg Onderwijs (ZBO).

After earning her pre-university diploma (vwo), Lisette went on to study psychology at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. She graduated cum laude and earned her master’s diploma in educational and developmental psychology. She was awarded the 2008 Unilever Research Prize for her master’s thesis, Motivation in Problem-based Education.

The following year, Lisette started her doctoral research at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The central theme of that research was motivation and performance in problem-based learning. The overarching goal of that thesis was to gain more understanding around motivation and performance within problem-based education. The studies discussed in the thesis centred around two main themes: the importance of finding the proper balance between student responsibility and teacher guidance, and the utility of tutor assessments in predicting educational success. She graduated cum laude from the doctoral programme in 2014 with this thesis. She received the Stichting Praemium Erasmianum award for her thesis.

Following her doctoral research, Lisette worked on a range of projects as a post-doctoral researcher. She carried out research for the University of Tilburg on team learning in teacher teams at mbo level and studied motivation, self regulation and problem-based education for the Erasmus University Rotterdam, among other things. She then started work at the University College Roosevelt, where she focused on a project entitled, “the effect of student-directed learning methods on motivation and lifelong learning”.

In the Educational Excellence in Secondary Education professorship, Lisette is focused on issues around educational practice secondary education in Zeeland, which she is researching together with teacher-researchers at various schools within Zeeland’s secondary educational system. The major themes of the professorship include customisation and differentiation, motivational and challenging education and fostering “teaching learning” and the educational culture of the school.