Kamer LeilaMarjolein Dobber investigates learning through a cultural-historical lens. Her main (research) interest is the theoretical and empirical advancement of Developmental Education. She is Assistant Professor of Educational Science at the Section of Educational Sciences and LEARN! Research Institute of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She is also Scientific Director of De Activiteit (in English: The Activity), the National Centre of Developmental Education.


In 2006, Marjolein started with a PhD research project on the development of social competence and collaboration within teacher education. She defended her dissertation ‘Collaboration in Groups during Teacher Education’ in 2011. By that time, she started working as a teacher and researcher at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In 2012, she complemented this with a position as researcher and teacher educator at De Activiteit. This proves to be a good combination, as it enables her to connect and integrate theory and practice around Developmental Education.

The past few years Marjolein has studied inquiry-based education in the classroom, mostly by means of classroom observations, for example focusing on the role of the teacher in developing an inquiring culture in the classroom. She has also conducted a review study on inquiry-based education. As scientific director at De Activiteit, she is responsible for researching practices of teacher educators and teachers. Het most recent research project is grounded in the collaboration between teachers, teacher educators and researchers, aimed at developing historical reasoning in Developmental Education classrooms. In this project the interaction in the classroom of the teachers is studied in-depth.