Vale – Reinders Duit

Photo of Reinders Duit (from Knut Neumann)

We report the very sad news that Dr. Reinders Duit passed away on 10 February 2023. Reinders was Professor of Physics Education at the Leibniz-Institute of Science and Mathematics Education (IPN) in Kiel, Germany. He was internationally known for his research and scholarship on conceptual change, students’ conceptions of a broad range of core physics and science concepts, and as a co-developer and active promoter of the Model of Educational Reconstruction that enjoys enormous popularity from curriculum developers across the world.

Reinders was well-known to many ASERA members through his work and presentations at conferences. Over his long and remarkable career, Reinders not only contributed a large body of research, but also had a substantial impact on the teaching and learning of physics and, more generally, science. He developed an outstanding reputation as a research scholar, teacher educator and supervisor to many students nationally and internationally, resulting in many awards. He had encyclopaedic knowledge of the science education literature, was involved in many collaborative research projects with colleagues from a wide range of countries and regions across the world. Some of these collaborations developed into close professional relationships and in some cases life-time friendships. Reinders also supported many young scholars, encouraging them to pursue a career in physics or science education and supporting them in their work; some of these scholars hold prestigious positions today.

Above all, Reinders was a modest person, had a friendly disposition and pleasant demeanor, was a thoughtful listener, always willing to engage meaningfully in debates and discussion with colleagues and graduate students. He had a gentle manner in offering guidance that was reciprocated in how others interacted with him. Not least, he had a fine sense of humor, that made working with him a remarkably enjoyable experience.

On the international stage, Reinders was a long-term NARST member, former NARST Director and recipient of the NARST Distinguished Contribution Award. He was a long-term ESERA member, a former member of the ESERA executive board and a member of the Gesellschaft für Didaktik der Chemie und Physik (GDCP) from which he was the first to receive the Honorary Medal for Long-term Outstanding Achievements in Chemistry and Physics Education in 2008.

The world of physics and science education has lost an outstanding researcher, engaged promoter, excellent teacher, and relentless supporter of young scholars. We will miss him.

David Treagust, School of Education Curtin University                                                           Knut Neumann, IPN University of Kiel

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