Prof. Dr. Michael Besser is Professor of Empirical Educational Research in Mathematics Didactics since 2018 and Dean of the School of Education at Leuphana University since 2022. His research interests include evidence-based instructional development, teacher professionalism, and empirical discussion of competence. Prof. Dr. Michael Besser is currently a member of the management team of the Future Center for Teacher Education, chair of the Habilitation Commission for Education, and an advisory member of the Senate at Leuphana University.

On a national and international level, Prof. Besser is active as a reviewer (among others for the German Research Foundation, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction as well as for various journals) and in education policy committees (among others in the Joint Mathematics Commission Transition School-University, in the Science Council and in the international comparative study PISA).


2022 – today:
Dean of the "School of Education" at the “Leuphana University Lüneburg”.

2018 – today:
University Professor (W2) at the “Institut for Mathematics and its Didactics” at the “Leuphana University Lüneburg”.

2016 – 2018:
Assistant Professor (W1) at the “Institut for Mathematics and its Didactics” and at the “Zukunftszentrum Lehrerbildung” at the “Leuphana University Lüneburg”.

2015 – 2016:
Assistant Professor (W1) at the “Institut for Mathematical Education” at the “University of Education Freiburg”.

2014 – 2015:
Teacher for mathematics at the “Oberschule Stadtmitte Lüneburg”.

2014 – 2014:
Teacher for mathematics at the “Friedrich-List-Schule”, secondary school in Kassel.

2012 – 2015:
Research assistant at the institute for mathematics and its didactics at the Leuphana University of Lueneburg (supervisor: Prof. Dr Dominik Leiss).

2009 – 2014:
Research assistant at the institute for mathematics at the University of Kassel (supervisor: Prof. Dr Werner Blum).

2008 – 2009:
Doctoral scholarship at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin (supervisor: Prof. Dr Dr h. c. Jürgen Baumert).


2008 – 2013:
PhD student at the University of Kassel within the research project COACTIV (professional competence of teachers, cognitively activating instruction, and development of students’ mathematical literacy), supervised by Prof. Dr Werner Blum and Prof. Dr Dr h. c. Jürgen Baumert. 

Dissertation: The relevance of teachers’ competence for the quality of teaching: expertise and beliefs in the context of teaching and learning mathematics.

University Education

2002 – 2007:
Studying mathematics and German for becoming a teacher for secondary school at the University of Kassel

Reviewer (Journals)

  • American Educational Research Journal
  • Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice
  • Educational Psychology
  • European Journal of Psychology of Education
  • Jahrbuch der Schulentwicklung
  • Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
  • Journal für Mathematik-Didaktik
  • Journal of Teacher Education
  • Mathematica Didactica
  • Mathematical Thinking and Learning
  • Studies in Educational Evaluation
  • User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction: The Journal of Personalization Research
  • ZDM – The International Journal on Mathematics Education
  • Zeitschrift für empirische Hochschulforschung
  • Zeitschrift für Mathematikdidaktik in Forschung und Praxis
  • Zeitschrift für Weiterbildungsforschung

Reviewer (Institutions/Congresses)

  • Arbeitsgruppe für Empirische Pädagogische Forschung
  • German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • Gesellschaft für Didaktik der Mathematik
  • Gesellschaft für empirische Bildungsforschung
  • European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction
  • International Congress on Mathematical Education
  • International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education
  • Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung
  • Tiburtius-Preis der Berliner Hochschulen

Education Policy Activities (selection)

  • Member of the work group „Evaluation der Lehramtsausbildung im Fach Mathematik“ of the unit Tertiäre Bildung of the Wissenschaftsrat
  • Member of the joint work group „Mathematik-Kommission Übergang Schule-Hochschule“ of DMV, GDM and MNU
  • Member of the international PISA 2021 Extended Mathematics Expert Group
  • Member of the leadership team of the Zukunftszentrum Lehrkräftebildung at Leuphana University Lüneburg