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

AndersSchinkelEducation is commonly seen as crucial to individual and collective well-being. Government policies tend to focus on how the education system can contribute to economic growth and international competitiveness. At the same time schools are required to supply the labour market with the employees it needs and society in general with liberal-democratically minded citizens. The Inspection assesses school quality primarily in terms of average scores as an indicator of whether government-set learning goals are being met. In this context, schools focus on the core curriculum (that children are tested on), and on preparing children for those tests, resulting in a high-pressure learning environment. Read more about the Wonder-Full research project ...
Melanie-EhrenIn 2017, the Dutch Inspectorate of Education introduced a new framework for inspections of school boards. The new framework follows a shift in the wider governance of schools with new legislation implemented in 2010 (‘Goed Onderwijs, Goed Bestuur’) to more clearly demarcate the roles and responsibilities of school boards. The Act requires school boards to ensure a minimum standard of performance in their schools and to quality control and improve their schools. Read the full blog ...
ChielvanderVeenHMarjoleinDobberet lerarentekort is in Nederland een groot probleem. Steeds meer kinderen, directeuren, leerkrachten en ouders zijn hier de dupe van. Het is dan ook niet verassend dat er creatieve oplossingen worden bedacht, zoals een bonus voor leerkrachten die willen werken in de randstad of het verlagen van het aantal lesuren. In Trouw van 18 september 2019 doet ontwikkelingspsycholoog Ewald Vervaet wel een heel opmerkelijk voorstel om het lerarentekort op te lossen: wachten met onderwijs tot het kind rijp is voor de leerstof. Lees hier de reactie op het stuk van Vervaet ...
Marianne Mak-vander VossenQuality of health care depends on doctors behaving professionally. A medical student’s unprofessional behaviour predicts later unprofessional behaviour as a physician. Therefore, professionalism is an important topic in undergraduate preclinical and clinical curricula. The educational domain ‘Professional Behaviour’ is a longitudinal thread throughout the six-year medical curriculum of VUmc School of Medical Sciences, Amsterdam. Workplace learning and role modeling are the pedagogic concepts for teaching professional behaviour. Educators carry out multiple formative and summative assessments of professional behaviour, and are asked to attend to lapses in professionalism of their students. Read the full blog ...
AndersSchinkelAs I write this I am on my way back from England to the Netherlands.
I will cross three borders.
I am allowed to do so because I carry a certain object, a hybrid of paper and plastic - that is, of tree and oil, of recent and ancient flora - that identifies me as a Dutch citizen, a member of a nation-state recognized by other nation-states.
The customs officers did not recognize me, of course (they don't know me), yet they recognized me, or rather the polity I belong to.
My passport doesn't mention this, but I am a Homo sapiens-Neanderthal hybrid. My hybrid ancestors have roamed the part of the earth we now call Europe for 40,000 years without encountering any borders. Read the full essay ...
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: www.rijksinspecties.nl and c.j.van.montfort@vu.nl
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 www.theimpactinitiative.net

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): www.vo-academie.nl

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: www.frieschdagblad.nl