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Educational innovation and design-based research coordination

Learning about the origins and diversity of humanity can be deeply meaningful for students. Insights from the interdisciplinary field of evolutionary anthropology allow students to better understand themselves, their fellow humans, our human-made world, and their ability to shape our world towards a preferred future.

This is why our department is committed to making the insights of evolutionary anthropology accessible and relevant to the general public. We are approaching this aim through a strategic and cooperative effort to advance new interdisciplinary approaches integrating evolution, behavior, and sustainability science across the education spectrum. 

Our educational innovation coordinator, Dustin Eirdosh, PhD, along with guest scientist, Dr. Susan Hanisch, as well as other research scientists in our department and institute, work together with a growing network of educational organizations, institutions, and professionals to support direct engagement with local and international classrooms, as well as the development of scientific infrastructure to empower educators in teaching the latest scientific perspectives in our field. 



Teaching materials

We are actively developing a wide range of teaching materials related to understanding human origins and diversity, both in-house and through our network of academic and educational partnerships. 


We directly develop innovative educational development projects, as well as indirectly support the coordination of educational development networks. 

Teacher development

We are coordinating both pre-service and in-service teacher development programs, in Leipzig, and interationally through our network of partnerships. 

Thesis coordination

An important aim of our educational development work is to facilitate coordinated interdisciplinary student thesis work for pre-service teachers.


We offer a limited number of exciting internship opportunities for high school students, pre-service teacher students, and graduate students in education or human science fields.


Scientists in our department offer webinars for student and teacher groups interested in learning more about the work we do.

Community Science Lab

Our Community Science Lab model is an innovation hub for advancing new directions in evolution education and school improvement efforts, as well as community-based resources for learning about human origins and cultural diversity.


We regularly publish peer-reviewed scientific articles on our educational development work, as well as a range of open-acces resources and guides for educators and students across subject areas.


Cooperative partnerships are essential to our mission and educational vision. Learn more about who we work with, and how you can work with us!

Evolving an open, networked, and interdisciplinary evolution and sustainability education research community

We are scientistsartiststeachers, and students working together to reimagine and cultivate a new direction for evolution and sustainability education. We believe interdisciplinary perspectives in evolutionary anthropology can serve as a foundation for  understanding and valuing the science of evolutionary change in our everyday lives and global societyJoin us!

Learn more at the project website: http://openevo.eva.mpg.de 

Our Teacher's Guide

Our Teacher's Guide to Evolution, Behavior, and Sustainability Science provides educators with an interdisciplinary road map to understanding the origins, development, and flexibility of our uniquely elaborated human capacities to cooperate around things that matter. The guide is a fun and resource-packed document that can help teachers from across traditional subject areas come together around understanding what makes us human, and how our understanding of our species impacts our views on social change and the challenges of planetary sustainability. 


Download the guide from OpenEvo:


Educational Development Projects and Networks

Our educational development work includes the direct coordination and indirect support for a range of interdisciplinary projects and networks, unified by the common thread of understanding the human condition. 

Learn more about our
Educational Development Projects

Featured Partnerships

Global ESD works internationally to support Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) initiatives that connect concepts in human evolution, behavior, and sustainability science. By linking scientific perspectives on social change with students and classrooms seeking to make the world a better place, our aim is to foster a more global discussion about where we are going in the light of where we all have come from. 


As the German sister organization of Global ESD, EvoLeipzig is a place-based initiative that works with local school partners to help teachers in Leipzig use the educational innovations we are developing around the science of evolutionary anthropology


The development of teacher competencies is a central focus of our educational development efforts. For this reason, our on-going collaborations with the University of Leipzig provide a critically important opportunity for supporting the next generation of educators in understanding the learning potential of the interdisciplinary human sciences within our Max Planck Institute. 

Primary School Science Education
Center for Teacher Training and School Research

Biology education plays a central role in supporting the educational innovations we are advancing. In this context, we are collaborating with the biology education group of Prof. Dr. Uwe Hoßfeld.

Prosocial World is a global community of scientists and community leaders working to advance an applied science of cooperation grounded in an evolutionary understanding of human behavior. Prosocial Schools a global community of youth, parents, educators, and applied researchers working to apply the science of Prosocial World in the schools and classrooms that we are apart of. 


Ancient Ancestors is a US-based educational outreach project co-founded by Dr. Chris Bayer and Michael Luberda, Ancient Ancestors works internationally to support innovative directions in human evolution education through the development of hands-on classroom labs that make use of museum quality and 3D printed homid fossil replicas to engage students in understanding diverse, and in many cases, competing ideas on the origins of our species.  Ancient Ancestors has been instrumental in developing our departments growing collection and classroom usage of hominid fossil replicas.