Blogs and publications

This blog is written by LEARN! academics. The contributions present our take on current issues in education and social science, and reflect some of the highlights from our extensive programme of research. Views are our own and aim to inform, debate and shape our thinking.

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Blogs and Publications 2019

Cor-van-MonfortSome weeks ago the Inspectieraad (‘Inspection Council’) published the book Reflecties op de staat van het toezicht (‘Reflections on the state of supervision’). In this edited volume several authors reflect on the report Toezien op publieke belangen. Naar een verruimd perspectief op rijkstoezicht (‘Supervision on public interests. Towards an enhanced perspective on supervision’) which was published by the Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid (WRR, the Scientific Council for Government Policy) five years ago. Most of the contributions are, though not directly related, relevant for the education sector. In his chapter, Dr. Cor van Montfort reflects on the governance paradigm underlying the report and argues that it can contribute to a more responsive and effective supervision model. However, it also forces supervisors to deal with contradictory expectations from stakeholders (like parents or local governments), politics and society which requires a specific set of skills. For more information: and
Melanie-EhrenOn 3 and 4 July a delegation of school boards, policy-makers and researchers joined Marjolein Moorman, deputy mayor of Amsterdam on a visit to London to learn about the ‘London effect’ in tackling educational inequality. The ‘London effect’ was first highlighted by Cook (2013) in a series of articles in the FT. He showed that pupils in London scored higher, and that the difference was greatest for more disadvantaged schools and neighbourhoods. What can Amsterdam learn from successful programmes and approaches? Read the full blog ...
AndersSchinkelDe klimaatproblematiek – en de bredere milieu- en energieproblematiek waar deze onderdeel van is – is naast een politiek, moreel, economisch, sociaal, en levensbeschouwelijk vraagstuk ook een pedagogisch vraagstuk: de vraag hoe opvoeding en onderwijs er in het Antropoceen uit zouden moeten zien, in deze tijd waarin de mensheid een onmiskenbare en problematische invloed uitoefent op de aarde en haar bewoners, is een vraag die veel meer aandacht verdient dan hij tot nu toe gekregen heeft. Lees de volledige blog ...
Tom-KayeTom Kaye writes about the Emerging Alignment in the EdTech Sector. Between 17 – 24 June 2019 London EdTech Week hosted nearly 6,000 participants at over 25 events, with attendees exploring the current state and future evolution of the global EdTech industry. Read the full blog by Tom Kaye ...

Nienke-van-atteveldtNienke van Atteveldt writes about the newest insights in the “teenage brain” and how there is more to the story than the common focus on impulsivity and risk taking. Based on recent research together with her PhD student Sibel Altikulac and other colleagues, she highlights the influence of the negative public perception on adolescent brain development and shifts the attention to the bright side of this developmental period. 

Read more here ...

In a special issue at Frontiers Young Minds, Nienke van Atteveldt and Sabine Peters help children and their teachers to understand the learning brain better. Thanks to funding by the Jacobs Foundation, the article collection incl an Ebook for free download, will be translated into multiple languages including Dutch. The deadline for submitting abstracts is June 21, for full articles (~1500 words) Sept 30. If the abstract deadline had passed and you’d still like to contribute, please let the editors know. The collection is expected to be published around spring 2020. 

Read more details here ...

FlorisvanBerckelSmitOver the past few decades, efficiency and output of higher education, the role of ‘managers’, and new budgeting systems have become increasingly contested. The debate about how to govern and control higher education has seen new impetus with college admission bribery scandals in the United States (US), while in the Netherlands the committee-Van Rijn is proposing an overhaul of how universities and polytechnics are funded, introducing more state control. Are these cases indicating a turning point for new public management (NPM) in higher education? How can we understand these debates from a historic perspective?

Read the full blog ...

Melanie-EhrenLEARN! Director Melanie Ehren writes about how to ensure impact from comparative education research. She offers four reflections and explains why they are difficult to implement, even though they are open doors: 1) be clear about your message, 2) Engage stakeholders early on, 3. Build relationships over time, 4. Build in time in your country of study.

Read the blog on

Cor-van-MonfortLEARN! colleague Cor van Montfort is writing about how to make horizontal accountability more meaningful. Funded by the Dutch council for Secondary Education (VO-raad) he is working with school boards on how to ensure horizontal accountability for external purposes also supports organizational learning and improvement. 

See his interview on (in Dutch, page 54):

gerdienbertramtroostGerdien Bertram-Troost offers a compelling narrative about the complexities of remembering the second world war in education, the role of teachers and the importance of having a conversation about freedom and democracy. 

Read the essay on: