KU Leuven

Education as a future-ing practice

2024-08-09 (Europe/Brussels)
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KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

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The research will be carried out within the Education, Culture and Society (ECS) research unit at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences. Social issues are explicitly understood within ECS as public and educational issues, i.e. challenges that concern everyone and which make the specificity of an educational response the subject of research. Research at ECS brings together, both methodologically and theoretically, different approaches with the intention of making what the current issues are in terms of digitization, diversity and sustainability is articulated and mapped, to form pedagogical theory (generating a language and specific concepts), as well as to design concrete pedagogical practices that signify an intervention in these issues of living together. ECS promotes this research within the fields of school, university, non-formal and family education.


As part of an assistant mandate at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, you will undertake teaching assistant duties within the Pedagogical Sciences programs.
You will also conduct research into the temporality of educational practices. This research starts from the assumption that time does not have a universal, linear or abstract form that runs in a straight line from the past via the present to the future. Your study, on the other hand, makes visible both conceptually and empirically how education always institutes temporal acts and how the future takes shape through these acts, by, for example, installing rhythms, slow down exercising time, relating to the past in a particular way, etc. The study opts for a practical-theoretical elaboration of what characterizes an educational engagement with time. Such an  approach makes it possible to explore how futures take shape in an interplay of interactions between people and materials (e.g. the temporal structuring of a calendar versus a planning document, visions of the future within teaching materials, the (digital) environment in which education takes place). In this practical theoretical elaboration, this assemblage of people and other-than-human actors at the micro-level is also connected to the question of how policy helps shape the future, for example through the measures it imposes (e.g. dividing educational time into modules), by the discursive actions a policy text states (e.g. the vision of learning used for the future, the vision of leisure time and volunteer engagement used), etc. In this assemblage of various actors at various levels, a pronounced tension emerges today between securing a well-defined future for the individual and opening up a shared future for living together. It is a tension that in this doctoral research not only explore theoretically but also empirically within a well-defined educational practice. The choice of educational practice will be made in close consultation with the candidate. Possible examples of a concrete question could be:
  • How does future get shaped in sustainability education of the human and social sciences at university?
  • How does the future get shaped in education that offers adults a second chance to obtain a secondary school diploma?
  • How does the future get shaped in youth work that, together with young people, tries to find a way out of experiences of social exclusion?


You have a Master's degree in Pedagogical Sciences, Educational Studies or Pedagogy, or in a related discipline (Social Sciences/ Anthropology/Educational Studies/Literature/History) where (possibly in addition to your education) you have acquired noticeable expertise in the field of education. 
  • Students who will graduate in the summer of 2024 may also apply, provided there is a demonstrable success rate and the prospect of graduating in September 2024 at the latest
  • You conduct your research in order to obtain a doctoral degree
  • You provide teaching assistance (approximately 40% of your time) for courses in the Bachelor or Master in Educational Sciences, the Master of Educational Studies or Master of Educational Work with Adults.
  • You are self-directed and love to take initiative, and  you are also a team player.
  • You have very good language skills in Dutch and English (reading, speaking and writing), and other forms of multilingualism are an important plus.
  • You have good presentation skills, and are willing to give presentations at (inter)national conferences
  • You publish articles in established, national and international scientific journals
  • You are willing to make your research known to a wider audience, including by writing vulgar articles or communicating about this research on social media
  • You are willing, within the Education, Culture and Society research unit, to take on service duties in addition to education (such as organising research activities, general support, etc.)


We offer full-time employment (100%) as an assistant for a period of 2 years. In case of a positive evaluation the appointment will be extended for another 2 X 2 years (total: 6 years).
  • Supervision by an experienced supervisor.
  • Start date no later than 1 October 2024.
  • You will have the opportunity to participate in national and international conferences to present your own research.
  • Remuneration in scale 43 of KU Leuven


Please send your application with the following documents by 9 August 2024. Selection interviews are scheduled for 14 August 2024.
- An English- or Dutch-language cover letter (max 2.5 pages) explaining why you are the right candidate for this position. Convince us that you really can do it and that you really want it.
- A CV of 2-3 pages maximum.
- Contact details of at least 2 references, including information about your relationship with this person.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Joke Vandenabeele, tel.: +32 16 32 57 62, mail: joke.vandenabeele@kuleuven.be or Mrs. Maria Leon, tel.: +32 16 32 81 57, mail: maria.leon@kuleuven.be.

KU Leuven strives for an inclusive, respectful and socially safe environment. We embrace diversity among individuals and groups as an asset. Open dialogue and differences in perspective are essential for an ambitious research and educational environment. In our commitment to equal opportunity, we recognize the consequences of historical inequalities. We do not accept any form of discrimination based on, but not limited to, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, ethnic or national background, skin colour, religious and philosophical diversity, neurodivergence, employment disability, health, or socioeconomic status. For questions about accessibility or support offered, we are happy to assist you at this email address.

Job details

Education as a future-ing practice
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, Belgium
Application deadline
2024-08-09 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-08-09 23:59 (CET)
Job type
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About the employer

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

Visit the employer page