Introducing our new advisory board

We’re pleased to introduce LEARN!’s advisory board. Some of the members have renewed their term, but we also have some new members as of November 2020. They will advise the institute for the next three years and help us develop and implement our strategy. In our next newsletters we’ll let them introduce themselves in a bit more detail, while two of our advisory board members (Rien Spies and professor Becky Francis) will also feature in our annual conference on the 20th of January 2021.

01-12-2020 | 9:00

Iroise DumontheilProf. Dr Iroise Dumontheil is a Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Department of Psychological Science, Birkbeck, University of London and a member of the Centre for Educational Neuroscience, University of London. Her research focuses on the development of social cognition and cognitive control during childhood and adolescence and their functioning in adulthood, and on the impact of cognitive training, from computerised games to mindfulness meditation practice, on cognition and academic performance in children and adolescents. After obtaining her PhD from the University of Paris and working as a postdoc at the MRC-Cognitive and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, at UCL in London and at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, she was awarded with prestigious prices such as the Spearman Medal from the British Psychology Society in 2015 and the Elizabeth Warrington Prize from the British Neuropsychological Society in 2017. She is an associated editor for the journals Developmental Science and Mind, Brain and Education. 

Becky FrancisProf. Dr. Becky Francis is the Chief Executive Officer of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF); she has combined academic research and policy work in education since the start of her career, specializing in educational inequality. She was previously Director of the UCL Institute of Education (the largest faculty of Education in the world), and Professor of Education and Social Justice at King’s College London. She advises the UK Government and regularly provides consultation to international Governments and media on education policy.

Rien RouwRien Rouw works as a strategic advisor for the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. He was seconded to the OECD to work on the ‘Strategic Education Governance’ project and continues to act as an external consultant on the project. He is a historian and policy analyst, who studied history and philosophy at the Leiden University. His main area of work is to enhance evidence based policy-making and building bridges between research, policy and practice. He regularly publishes on themes such as system governance and science-policy exchange. 

Rien SpiesRien Spies is the executive board member / superintendent of Agora, a school board of 24 primary schools in the Zaanstreek, educating about 7000 pupils. He started as a teacher, then became the executive head of a number of schools and a policy advisor for education. For the past nine years, he is heading up the executive board of Agora schools. His mission is to professionalise the primary school sector and enhance children’s life chances by providing them with an excellent standard of primary education. 

Sandy TautProf. Dr. Sandy Taut is the deputy head of the Quality Agency of the Ministry of Education in the state of Bavaria, Germany. Her area of expertise is on the evaluation of educational quality, at school and classroom level. She obtained  her degree in Psychology at the university of Cologne, Germany and pursued her PhD in education and social research methods at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). For twelve years, she lived in Chile where she worked as a Professor in educational psychology, assessment and evaluation at the Catholic University of Chile (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, PUC) and at the Measurement Center MIDE UC before moving back to Germany to take up her current role. 

Dolf van VeenDrs. Dolf van Veen is director of the Netherlands Centre for Education and Youth Care (NCOJ), and, since 1998, special/honorary professor at the University of Nottingham.  Previously, he worked in child and youth psychiatry and youth care before entering higher education and his appointment as head of Pedagogy and teacher training in Amsterdam. Between 2000-2010 he was head of Education and Youth Care of the Netherlands Youth Institute and director of major national innovative educational and youth policy programmes on education and behaviour support teams in schools, schools and safety, and interprofessional support programmes for (vulnerable) children and youth in schools. In 2009-2013 he was appointed as ambassador Education and Youth Policy by the ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports and the Association of Netherlands Municipalities. Between 2013-2016 he was leading the Dutch Higher Education consortium on Teacher Education and Inclusion, and more recently, between 2015-2018 he was part of the research consortium evaluating Passend Onderwijs, the Dutch version of more inclusive education. Together with national education and health and human services organizations he launched, in 2018, the platform Naar Inclusiever Onderwijs to support policy and school development for inclusive education in the Netherlands.