New Postdoc: Wouter Schakel

On the 1st of January 2021, Wouter Schakel started as a new postdoctoral researcher. His project will focus on the political, economic and societal factors that explain variation in educational policy across time and space. He will be part of the NWO Vici project led by Herman van de Werfhorst.

New PhD student: Ayça Alayli

On the 1st of October 2020, Ayça Alayli started as a new PhD student. Her PhD project studies the role of standardized tracking procedures in inequality of opportunity at the transition from primary to secondary education and is funded by AMCIS. Her supervisors are Sara Geven, Louise Elffers (Educational Sciences), and Herman van de Werfhorst.

Social Dynamics of COVID-19

A research team from the University of Amsterdam and Erasmus University has received a ZonMW research grant for the project “The social dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic: Education, socio-economic position and solidarity”. The COVID-19 pandemic not only affects our health, but also employment, income, social-psychological well-being and education. This team will map out the social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic to identify vulnerable groups, and to formulate policy strategies for strengthening the resilience of individuals, organizations and society. Herman van de Werfhorst (PI), Thijs Bol and Sara Geven are involved in this project.

Thijs Bol studies the short- and long-term effects of homeschooling during the COVID-19 pandemic on social inequality in educational outcomes. Which students in primary and secondary school had less resources at home during the school shutdown? What are the consequences for students when it comes to educational and socio-emotional outcomes? And how are the consequences of home schooling distributed between schools in the Netherlands?

Sara Geven studies how school staff who are involved in the track recommendation procedure in Dutch primary schools deal with the COVID-19 crisis. What is the impact of the cancellation of the final test on (their) students? How does their teaching take shape? And how do they maintain in contact with teachers and parents?

Herman van de Werfhorst, Emma Kessenich, and Sara Geven study “digital divides”. Now that education has largely gone digital, a question that raised concern is the potential effects of this forced and rapid digitalization on inequalities in learning. This project investigates the extent to which students are “corona-proof” in terms of digital preparedness before the pandemic, and relate this to social environment, migration background and gender. The first findings can be found here.

The PRIMS data collection is also connected to the ZonMw project. This project investigates inequalities in the transition from primary to secondary school, at times when the final test has been canceled and schools have been closed for two months.

Do you want to know more about these projects? Keep an eye on the website for updates on the projects’ findings.

New PhD student: Dieuwke Zwier

On 1 September, Dieuwke Zwier joins the Educational Systems and Inequality Research Program team. Dieuwke completed a bachelor in Sociology and a research master in Social Sciences, both at the University of Amsterdam. In her PhD research, Dieuwke will study how peer relations affect educational decisions, aspirations, and performance in the transition from primary to secondary education.

Dieuwke’s project is part of the National Cohort Study Educational Careers (NCO) PRIMS project, a collaboration between a team of researchers from the University of Amsterdam and the University of Groningen. She will be supervised by Sara Geven, Thijs Bol, and Herman van de Werfhorst.

Workshop “Educational inequalities: psychological and sociological processes” in Tübingen

Herman van de Werfhorst organized a workshop at the University of Tübingen on 1st and 2nd October as part of his visitorship at the University.

Three members of our team also presented their ongoing work at this occasion:

Anatolia Batruch and Herman van de Werfhorst:
“Education-based meritocracy and personal legitimation of stratification”

Andrea Forster, Anna Katyn Chmielewski and Herman van de Werfhorst:
“Tracking, Student Expectations and Higher Education Enrollment. A comparison between the US and Germany”

Lotte Scheeren and Herman van de Werfhorst:
“Female advantage and disadvantage: The role of educational tracking in vertical and horizontal gender segregation in education”

Research Visit Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Andrea Forster will be a visiting PhD student at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto in April and May to work on a paper together with Anna Katyn Chmielewski. The paper, which focuses on the role of student expectations on higher education enrollment, will be presented at the Comparative, International and Development Education Center at OISE on April 25.