Category Archives: General

The ISOTIS Virtual Learning Environment follows the principles of openness and accessibility

The development of the ISOTIS Virtual Learning Environment - an online platform that aims to promote the use of different languages and multiculturalism at home and (pre)school) - followed two main principles:

1. Openness: the learning environment is based on Open Source software, in order to make it possible to reuse existing resources, to enable the release of final products to a larger community of users, and to grant full control to the developers on the various parts of the system, as well as on data management;

2. Accessibility: the platform should be inclusive, following the principles of Universal Design (Mace, 1985) and, more specifically, the guidelines of the Universal Design for Learning framework (Rose & Meyer, 2002). This requirement was dictated by the super-diversity of participants, whose age, education and socioeconomic status greatly varied from country to country.

This topic is described in the article Design for inclusion in a linguistically and culturally diverse Europe: Challenges in the development of a Virtual Learning Environment, authored by ISOTIS researchers Andrea Mangiatordi, Giulia Pastori, Valentina Pagani, Alice Sarcinelli, and Leonardo Menegola (University of Milano-Bicocca). The article is published in the proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies. 

Click here to find the article.

ISOTIS collected the perspectives of service providers on coordination between agencies

The collaboration between services in fields such as education, health, social work, and welfare, among others, is increasingly recognized as central to tackle social and educational inequalities. Identifying promising practices in this scope is needed to increase outreach, timely access, and effectiveness of services for socioeconomically disadvantaged children and families.

Our team interviewed heads of service providers, coordinators, and local government representatives on facilitating factors, barriers, and impacts related to the collaborative work of services for culturally and linguistically diverse children and families.

This study was presented at the 2019 EECERA Conference (Thessaloniki, Greece).

Click here to read the presentation - authored by ISOTIS researchers Catarina Leitão, Joana Guerra, and Clara Barata (University of Coimbra)

Melissa Bonotto (UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre), Maria Assunçào Folque (INTESYS project - University of Évora/Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation), and ISOTIS researcher Catarina Leitão (University of Coimbra) - participants in the EECERA symposium Family Support, Early Intervention and Integrated Services.

ISOTIS researchers Rita Pratas and Joana Guerra (University of Coimbra) at the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, University of Coimbra.

This study was also presented at the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences of the University of Coimbra, during the Faculty anniversary celebration, on November 5.

Click here to read the poster in Portuguese - authored by ISOTIS researchers Clara Barata, Joana Guerra, Catarina Leitão and Rita Pratas  (University of Coimbra)

The results of the study highlighted:

- The relevance of providing political and organizational support, ensuring sustained funding and continuity of human resources , and the appropriate allocation of time and tasks .

- The importance of involving locally based services and professionals, and citizens in the development and evaluation of interventions, so that they answer to existing needs.

- The priority of assessing impacts and monitoring collaborative work between services.

Click here to read the executive summary about the study

New European Report on Roma integration

The 2019 European Report on Roma integration was recently released. This report focuses on the implementation of Roma inclusion measures in the European Union Member States (MS). It summarizes the most important trends on four policy areas of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies (education, employment, health, housing), as well as fighting discrimination and antigypsyism.

According to the report,  most MS invested in measures to reduce early school-leaving  (18 MS). The next most frequently used measures included: considering the needs of individual pupils in cooperation with their families (14 MS); increasing the access to, and quality of, early childhood education and care (13 MS); and encouraging Roma participation in – and completion of – secondary and tertiary education (11 MS). Efforts were also made to fight school segregation; use inclusive teaching methods; and develop skills adapted to labour market needs (12 MS each).

As Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, said: “Receiving proper education from an early age gives every child a chance in life. Member States have worked hard. Now, 90% of Roma children attend primary and lower secondary school.(source: EU Press release Database)

However, there are still 68% of Roma who leave education early, while the Europe 2020 early school leavers target is 10%. In addition only 18% of Roma children transit to higher levels of education and the absenteeism and early-school leaving rates of Roma are significantly higher than for other categories of pupils.

In terms of central priorities to be addressed, the report indicates:
- To support home parenting and early-childhood learning;
- To systematically monitor and fight school and class segregation;
- To encourage young Roma to pursue higher education.

Some of the policy lessons in this area mentioned in the report include: the importance of early intervention and prevention; the need to ensure participation and empowerment of Roma parents; the role of extracurricular activities for strengthening identity and social networks of Roma children; and the relevance of continuous complex support measures (tutoring combined with scholarship and removal of other cost barriers) in promoting the transition between educational levels and to employment.

Especially in Member States with a high share of Roma pupils, a systematic, complex and long term approach is recognized as needed to fight school and class segregation, which remains a pressing problem that undermines the success of other inclusion measures. According to the report, key parts of this approach include: providing early and free access to quality inclusive early-childhood education and care in integrated settings; supporting Roma parents in school choice; gradual closing of segregated schools by educational authorities; and distributing Roma children across several schools (through the reorganisation of school catchment areas).

The report also highlights the relevance of implementing measures to sensitise the general public on the importance of educational inclusion and intercultural education for community relations.

Find the report here:

Self-Reflection Tool for Inclusive Early Childhood Education Environments

In a new blog post, ISOTIS researcher Cecília Aguiar (ISCTE-IUL) presents a tool with questions that enable early childhood professionals to reflect on dimensions of the early childhood education environment that may facilitate or hinder participation and involvement.

The dimensions include, for instance, social environment, physical environment, materials, communication, among others.

According to your view, what strategies can be used to support reflection about inclusiveness in educational settings?

Let us know by commenting on your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Equality & Inclusion Conference: Abstracts now online!

Equality & Inclusion Conference | 28-29 November | Utrecht, the Netherlands.

The abstracts of the parallel keynotes on Thursday the 28th of November are now online! During these keynotes different speakers present a keynote talk. Maurice Crul will speak about The effect of educational systems and policies on children of migrant and refugees. Vibeke Grøver’s keynote is about Supporting dual language learning through collaboration between parents and teachers in early childhood education. Finally, Jacqueline Barnes will talk about Inter-agency working.

Curious? Read their abstracts here:

Register now at :

Attending high quality ECEC can reduce the risk of special educational needs

A paper by ISOTIS researchers Ted Melhuish and Jacqueline Barnes (University of Oxford), together with other colleagues, was accepted into the Exceptionality Education International journal.

The paper focuses a study of the long-term influence of early childhood education and care (ECEC) on the risk for developing special educational needs (SEN).

The results of this longitudinal study following over 3000 children up to the end of school found that, after controlling for demographic and parenting factors, that attendance an early education centre reduced the risk of the child developing special educational needs across the whole of the school career.

This effect was amplified where the quality of provision in the early education centre was higher. Overall attendance at high quality early education reduced the risk of SEN across the school career by 60% compared to children without early education experience before entering formal schooling.

The ISOTIS final working meeting started!

Today  we welcomed our ISOTIS colleagues at the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences of the University of Coimbra, Portugal! The final working meeting of the project will occur until Friday.

Our team is discussing key recommendations for European policy and practice based on the findings of the project.  The central goal is to combat educational and social inequalities, and increase inclusiveness.

Yesterday, the PhD students conducting studies in the scope of ISOTIS also presented their research projects.

Relevant findings and recommendations are coming in! More news will be shared soon. Stay tuned!

New video: Proud to speak Romani

"Madara te phenel hoj džanes Romanes. Amari čhib hin šukar the guľori."
[Do not be afraid to say that you speak Romani. Our language is beautiful and sweet.]

In the video below, our colleague Stano Daniel (ISSA) tells us about the importance of encouraging children and families to use the languages they know.

New study: Impact of process quality in ECEC on academic outcomes

Impact of process quality in Early Childhood Education and Care on academic outcomes: Longitudinal meta‐analysis" is a new article by ISOTIS researchers Katrin Wolf and Yvonne Anders (Freie Universität Berlin), together with Hannah Ulferts.

The article is available here:

According to the abstract:

"This meta‐analysis studies the association of pedagogical processes in early childhood care and education with outcomes in two academic domains: language and literacy as well as mathematics. It synthesizes evidence from 17 longitudinal studies in nine European countries with 16,461 children in regular center‐based care spanning the period between ages 3 and 16. Results of a three‐level meta‐analysis provided small overall effect sizes for both global and domain‐specific process quality, and indicated lasting associations with academic development over children’s school career (ES = .11, Cohen’s = .22, and ES = .10, Cohen’s = .20). Effects varied by outcome domain, type of process measure, and differences in adopted analyses, with important implications for pedagogical practice and future research."

School achievement and well-being of immigrant children

In a new study, ISOTIS researchers Rita Guerra, Ricardo Borges Rodrigues and Cecília Aguiar (ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon) examined the role of perceived discrimination and acculturation orientations on immigrant children's achievement and well-being in the school context. Participants in the study included immigrant, immigrant descendant and native Portuguese children from 4th to 6th grade.

This study examined the relation between perceived discrimination and immigrant/immigrant descendant children's acculturation orientations towards culture maintenance and contact with native peers, and their psychological (i.e., well-being and peer acceptance) and sociocultural adaptation (i.e., school achievement).

Results indicated that:

- Immigrant and immigrant descendant children revealed lower school achievement than their native peers; but only immigrant, and not immigrant descendant children, reported lower levels of well-being and peer acceptance.

- Perceived discrimination was found to be negatively related to school achievement, via an increased desire for culture maintenance, only among immigrant children.

- The indirect effects of perceived discrimination on well-being and peer acceptance were not significant.

- However, perceived discrimination was strongly related to lower well-being and acceptance, independently of the target group. This suggest that the negative association between perceived discrimination and well-being in the school context might encompass a more general process affecting both immigrant and immigrant descendant children.

Click here to read the full paper

Equality & Inclusion Conference: Early bird until September 30th

We happy to invite you to the Equality & Inclusion Conference in Utrecht, November 28-29.

The early bird deadline was extended until September 30th!

Register at

The conference will address policies and interventions to increase the educational opportunities, social mobility, integration and inclusion of groups at risk of marginalization, in particular immigrant communities, ethnic minorities and low-income groups in Europe.

The conference will feature the contributions and key recommendations of the ISOTIS project. Join us!

Forum on Inclusion and Equity in Education – UNESCO

How can we advance policies and practices that ensure inclusion and equity in education? What actions have governments taken to translate principles into practices to ensure inclusive learning environments? What are the recommendations that could foster inclusion in education?

These are key questions of the International Forum on Inclusion and Equity in Education, organized by UNESCO, that is taking place in Cali, Colombia, until next Friday. Click here to visit the website

"The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its focus on leaving no one behind, provides a unique opportunity to build more inclusive, just and fair societies. There remains challenges to ensure that all people irrespective of sex, age, race or ethnicity, and persons with disabilities, migrants, indigenous peoples, children and youth, especially those in vulnerable situations have access to life-long learning opportunities. Although efforts have been made to promote quality education for all, reality does not show significant transformation in educational systems nor policies."

"The Forum will provide a platform for debate and a place to share innovative policies, programmes and practices to advance inclusion and equity in education."

How policies and practices can be improved to promote inclusion and give all children a head start is a leading question that will also be discussed at the conference Equality and Inclusion, featuring the ISOTIS project. Enroll here:

International Conference EQUALITY & INCLUSION: Early bird deadline on September 15

Register here: 

How can our early education and family support systems be improved to give all children a head start in life? How can we support the professionals working in these systems? What are effective models of interagency collaboration and local governance to increase equity and inclusiveness in our societies?

These are the key questions that will be addressed in a varied program of keynotes, symposia and workshops at the conference in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on 28-29 November 2019.

The conference will feature the ISOTIS project. Other research projects and in-depth case studies of promising practices from several countries will be represented as well. Join us!

Poland: The changing identity of Early Childhood Education

"There is a common agreement among professionals, policy makers and academics that improvements of ECEC provision ought to be based on research-based premises. However, implementing changes requires great sensitivity to the national cultural, social, historical and economic circumstances, otherwise we may lose the country’s unique strengths."

ISOTIS researcher Olga Wysłowska (University of Warsaw) tells us about the example of provision in Poland for children between 0 to 3 years of age, highlighting changes that occurred over time, in a new blog piece.

Click here to read the full blog piece.

How has the Early Childhood Education sector developed in your country? Share your views and experiences with us on our Facebok, Twitter or Linkedin pages!

Apresentação de resultados do ISOTIS / Presentation of ISOTIS results

A equipa portuguesa do ISOTIS apresentou resultados do projeto no Porto e em Lisboa, nos dias 22 e 29 de maio. Estes eventos constituíram um espaço de debate e partilha de experiências e práticas promotoras da inclusão de crianças e famílias.

As sessões de abertura foram realizadas por Luísa Faria, Diretora da Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade do Porto, e por Rita Guerra e Ricardo Rodrigues, investigadores do ISOTIS (ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa).

O que é o ISOTIS e qual a sua pertinência foram os focos da primeira apresentação, realizada pela investigadora do ISOTIS Clara Barata (Universidade de Coimbra).  A importância do projeto foi realçada face ao aumento das desigualdades sociais no desenvolvimento linguístico / cognitivo das crianças ao longo da sua vida, com as disparidades a manterem-se para crianças imigrantes, para além do que seria explicado pela desvantagem socioeconómica. Clique aqui para ver a apresentação

As perspetivas de famílias de comunidades imigrantes, ciganas ou economicamente desfavorecidas constituíram o tema abordado pelas investigadoras do ISOTIS Rita Guerra e Cecília Aguiar (ISCTE-IUL) no Porto, e Inês Ferreira (ISCTE-IUL) em Lisboa. Um dos resultados preliminares partilhados relativos ao contexto português enfatiza a importância do envolvimento das famílias em eventos informais (sociais) na escola. Clique aqui para ver a apresentação

Os serviços de apoio às famílias para reduzir desigualdades constituíram o foco da apresentação realizada pela investigadora do ISOTIS Joana Cadima (FPCEUP). Um dos resultados apresentados indica que a maioria dos programas de apoio baseados em evidência mostra ganhos positivos para as famílias, mas que ainda há pouca informação acerca da redução de desigualdades. Clique aqui para ver a apresentação
Este tema contou com o comentário de Sandra Rodrigues, Margarida Pinheiro e Sara Matos, que pertencem à equipa do Projeto Aquém e Além Salas de Vidro do Agrupamento de Escolas de Coruche, o qual visa incluir crianças de comunidades ciganas na educação pré‐escolar, e promover o sucesso educativo de todas as crianças.

A promoção da equidade na escola foi abordada pela investigadora do ISOTIS Cecília Aguiar (ISCTE-IUL). Com base nos resultados do projeto, algumas das recomendações referidas foram: valorização e apoio à aprendizagem da língua de origem, promoção do contacto através de abordagens cooperativas, e foco explícito na redução do preconceito.  Clique aqui para ver a apresentação
No Porto, este tema foi comentado por Ana Martins, do Projeto Escolhas Porta 7 E7G, o qual visa promover a igualdade, a não discriminação e o reforço da coesão social. Em Lisboa, contámos com o comentário de Alexandra Santos, profissional no Serviço de Psicologia e Orientação do Agrupamento de Escolas da Damaia.

As perspetivas dos profissionais e as abordagens de desenvolvimento profissional constituíram o foco da apresentação realizada pelo investigador do ISOTIS Gil Nata (FPCEUP). Com base na resposta de profissionais que trabalham com crianças e/ou famílias, uma das necessidades mais frequentemente sentidas é ter mais tempo para apoio individualizado para crianças que o necessitem. Clique aqui para ver a apresentação

A coordenação entre serviços para a redução das desigualdades foi o tema apresentado pelas investigadoras do ISOTIS Joana Guerra e Catarina Leitão (Universiadde de Coimbra), respectivamente no Porto e em Lisboa. Como facilitadores do trabalho de colaboração entre serviços, os resultados apresentados destacam a relevância do apoio político e organizacional, e do envolvimento  dos serviços e profissionais que atuam localmente, e dos cidadãos no desenvolvimento e avaliação das respostas fornecidas. Clique aqui para ver a apresentação

As apresentações de resultados do ISOTIS tiveram lugar na Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade do Porto e no ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa.

A equipa portuguesa do ISOTIS agradece a participação de todas as pessoas presentes!

Clique aqui para consultar o programa

The Portuguese ISOTIS team presented project results in Porto and Lisbon on 22nd and 29th of May. These events were a space for debate and sharing experiences and practices that promote the inclusion of children and families.

The opening sessions were held by Luísa Faria, Director of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Porto, and by Rita Guerra and Ricardo Rodrigues, ISOTIS researchers from ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa.

What is ISOTIS and what is its relevance were the foci of the first presentation, made by ISOTIS researcher Clara Barata (University of Coimbra). The importance of the project was emphasized in view of the widening social inequalities in children's linguistic / cognitive development throughout their lives, with the disparities remaining for immigrant children, beyond what would be explained by socioeconomic disadvantage. Click here to see the presentation

The perspectives of families from immigrant, Roma or economically disadvantaged communities were the theme addressed by ISOTIS researchers Rita Guerra and Cecília Aguiar (ISCTE-IUL) in Porto, and Inês Ferreira (ISCTE-IUL) in Lisbon. One of the shared preliminary findings regarding the Portuguese context emphasizes the importance of family involvement in informal (social) events at school. Click here to see the presentation

Family support services to reduce inequalities were the focus of the presentation by ISOTIS researcher Joana Cadima (FPCEUP). One of the results presented indicates that most evidence-based support programs show positive gains for families, but there is still little information about the reduction of inequalities. Click here to see the presentation.
This theme was commented by Sandra Rodrigues, Margarida Pinheiro and Sara Matos, who belong to the team of the Project Aquém e Além Salas de Vidro from Agrupamento de Escolas de Coruche, which aims to include children from Roma communities in pre-school education, and promote the educational success of all children.

The promotion of equity in school was approached by ISOTIS researcher Cecília Aguiar (ISCTE-IUL). Based on the project results, some of the recommendations mentioned corresponded to: valuing and supporting the learning of the first/mother language; promotion of contact through cooperative approaches, and explicit focus on reducing prejudice. Click here to see the presentation
In Porto, this theme was commented by Ana Martins, from the Project Escolhas Porta 7 E7G, which aims to promote equality, non-discrimination and the reinforcement of social cohesion. In Lisbon, the theme was commented by Alexandra Santos, from the Psychology and Vocational Counselling of the Agrupamento de Escolas da Damaia.

Professional perspectives and professional development approaches were the focus of the presentation by ISOTIS researcher Gil Nata (FPCEUP). Based on the response of professionals working with children and / or families, one of the most frequently felt needs is to have more time for individualized support for children needing it. Click here to see the presentation

The coordination between services to reduce inequalities was the theme presented by ISOTIS researchers Joana Guerra and Catarina Leitão (University of Coimbra), respectively in Porto and Lisbon. As facilitators factors of collaborative work between services, the results presented highlight the relevance of political and organizational support, and the involvement of services and professionals acting locally, and citizens in the development and evaluation of interventions. Click here to see the presentation

The ISOTIS results presentations took place at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Porto and at ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa.

The Portuguese ISOTIS team thanks all the participants!

Click here to consult the program


Lisbon / Lisboa


Costs and benefits of investing in universal preschool

Investing in high‐quality preschool education was supported by a cost–benefit analysis conducted by ISOTIS researcher Thomas van Huizen (Utrecht University) and colleagues.

This study is described in the paper "The Costs and Benefits of Investing in Universal Preschool: Evidence From a Spanish Reform", published in the recent issue of the Child Development journal.

It provides a cost–benefit analysis of expanding access to universal preschool education, focusing on a Spanish reform that lowered the age of eligibility for publicly provided universal preschool from age 4 to age 3.

Find the article here:

New ISOTIS report: In-deph interviews with parents from diverse backgrounds

Our team interviewed parents with a Romani, Turkish, North-African, and native low-income background about their views and experiences with educational and support services, and experiences of integration and inclusiveness. The interviews were conducted in the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Portugal.

In a first large study, parents replied to a questionnaire, as described here.

In a second study, a smaller group of 244 parents participated in a more detailed or in-depth interview, with the goal of enabling a better understanding of their experiences and practices of parenting young children.  This study is document in a new ISOTIS publication - Parent in-depth interview study: Technical report, by ISOTIS researchers Lyudmila Nurse and Edward Melhuish (University of Oxford).

The interviews examined children’s and parents’ experiences with inclusiveness and
educational effectiveness. The interviews also addressed the cultural and linguistic resources of the families, the values and ambitions, and the educational decisions they make. Finally, the interviews examined the wellbeing of parents and children.

The study also aimed to address the mechanisms of adaptation and strategies for parents’ and children’s integration into the society, and type, availability and use of resources in bringing up children by the parents.

Click here to read the full report

New key data on Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe

The new Key data on ECEC in Europe - 2019 Edition is available! ISOTIS researcher Clara Barata (University of Coimbra) contributed to this report as an expert.

As described here:

"Early childhood education and care (ECEC) – the phase before primary education – is increasingly acknowledged as providing the foundations for lifelong learning and development. This second edition of Key Data on Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe charts the progress made in the key quality areas identified in the Council Recommendation on High Quality ECEC Systems.

The report provides indicators on the key quality areas of governance, access, staff, educational guidelines as well as evaluation and monitoring. Cross-cutting these key areas, it presents a child-centred approach, with special attention being paid to the inter-relatedness of policies in different areas. The importance of inclusiveness in education is also stressed as high quality ECEC is considered to be one of the best ways to increase equity and equality in society.

Part one provides policymakers, researchers and parents with comparative information on the current ECEC policies across Europe. Part two gives an overview of the key features of national ECEC systems accompanied by a diagram of their structure.

The scope of the report is wide, covering centre-based and regulated home-based provision in both the public and private sectors in the 38 European countries (43 education systems) participating in the EU's Erasmus+ programme. It includes the 28 Member States of the European Union as well as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey."

Clear here to read the report

Primary School Nº 2 of Paredes, Portugal, develops activities to support multilingualism and multiculturalism

O ISOTIS está a desenvolver uma plataforma (Virtual Learning Environment) para apoiar a educação multicultural e multilíngue nos contextos familiar e educativos. Em diferentes países, a nossa equipa conduziu e equipou esta plataforma com atividades multiculturais e multilíngues, em colaboração com crianças, pais/cuidadores e professores. Em Portugal, os/as alunos/as da Escola Básica Nº 2 de Paredes, juntamente com a equipa da Universidade do Porto, partilham as atividades desenvolvidas no vídeo abaixo. Obrigad@!

ISOTIS is developing a platform (Virtual Learning Environment) to support multicultural and multilingual education at home and education settings. In different countries, we conducted and equipped this platform with multicultural and multilingual activities, in close collaboration with children, parents and teachers. In Portugal, the students of the Escola Básica Nº 2 de Paredes (School N. 2 of Paredes), together with the team of the University of Porto, kindly show us the developed activities in the video below. Thank you!

Projeto Isotis na Escola Básica nº2 de Paredes

Projeto IsotisDesenvolvido na Escola Básica Nº 2 de Paredes, no ano letivo de 2018/2019 por:Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade do Porto:Gil Nata, Joana Cadima e Sofia Guichard. Professores Titulares de Turma:Claudina Martins, Fátima Ferreira, Mabilda Guedes e Manuela Sousa.Turmas Envolvidas:PC4A, PC4B, PC4B e PC4D. Coordenadora de Escola: Manuela Duarte Coordenador do departamento do 1º Ciclo: Norberto Valério Diretora do AVEP: Olinda Pinto Guião de Vídeo:Gil Nata, Joana Cadima e Sofia Guichard.Imagens:Norberto Valério e Smile School (Imagens aéreas)Música: www.bensound.comEdição de Vídeo:Norberto Valério

Publicado por Agrupamento de Escolas de Paredes em Domingo, 23 de junho de 2019

Mais materiais construídos pelos alunos / More materials produced by the students.

New ISOTIS report: Survey among staff

The ISOTIS team developed a staff survey among over 1 000 professionals. A wide range of professionals were involved, including teachers, specialists, managers and social and family workers. The participating professionals were working in a variety of settings, such as early childhood education and care (ECEC), formal education, after-school care and the social work sector. The survey was conducted in the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Portugal.

One of the main conclusions based on the findings is that more positive beliefs towards multiculturalism and multilingualism seemed to go hand in hand with more culturally sensitive practices and better parent-professional relationships. Multicultural beliefs corresponded to being sensitive, appreciative, and respectful towards cultural differences, while at the same time focusing on the similarities and intercultural contact. Multilingual beliefs involved valuing the use of the heritage language at home and at (pre)school, and support for the development of the heritage language in (pre)school.

This staff survey is described in the new report “Internet survey among staff working in formal and informal (education) sectors in ten European countries”. It is authored by ISOTIS researchers Pauline Slot, Bodine Romijn (both from Utrecht University), Joana Cadima, Gil Nata (both from University of Porto), and Olga Wysłowska (University of Warsaw).

Click here to read the executive summary
Click here to download the full report

Value-based regulation of ECEC for equity and inclusiveness

ISOTIS partner International Step by Step Association (ISSA) is holding the Annual Conference with the theme "Nurturing Environments" (

This year’s conference theme draws attention to the systemic nature of the environments in which young children live, learn, play and develop, such as the home environment, early childhood services and other spaces in neighborhoods, communities and cities. Each experience along the way has the potential to shape the life of a young child.

Today, ISOTIS coordinator Paul Leseman (Utrecht University) delivered a keynote during the conference titled "Value-based regulation of early childhood education and care for equity and inclusiveness".

The abstract of this keynote is the following:

"The early childhood education and care (ECEC) field across the world has undergone many changes in the past decades, with partly promising but partly also threatening developments. There is definitively a trend towards more unification and integration, and also the availability and accessibility of ECEC have increased substantially in many countries, at least for the 3- to 6-year-olds. These developments reflect the increasing awareness that high quality ECEC can contribute importantly to tackling pertinent societal issues such as educational inequality and social exclusion. At the same time countries are struggling with the governance and funding of ECEC. Increased privatization and marketization have contributed to the expansion of ECEC provision and have led to increased access for all children, but major challenges remain regarding the quality and inclusiveness of ECEC and related support services. Especially the inclusion of children from migrant and ethnic minority communities is an urgent, still unresolved issue, calling for policies that can eliminate financial and cultural barriers. Most countries nowadays have hybrid ECEC systems, with public and private organizations, both for-profit and not-for-profit, operating in a partly harmonized market. Whereas governance and harmonization strategies still predominantly focus on regulation of costs-related structural quality characteristics, evidence suggests that value-based governance, giving statutory prominence to children’s rights and to the principles of equity and (cultural) inclusiveness, together with decentralization of responsibilities to the local level holds the best promise for reaching out to all children while maintaining high quality."

This abstract was retrieved from:

Paul Leseman discusses current early childhood development research in the ISSA video below.

Review on children’s right to participate in early childhood education settings

"Children's right to participate in early childhood education settings: A systematic review" is the theme of a new article by ISOTIS researcher Cecília Aguiar (ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa) and colleagues, published in Children and Youth Services Review.

According to the abstract of this article:

"Children's right to participate is considered pivotal for establishing a culture of democracy and citizenship. Although this is not a new concept, its application remains a challenge. This review aims to map peer-reviewed empirical research conducted on children's right to participate, in center-based early childhood education settings, from 1980 on. A systematic literature search was performed and 36 studies met the inclusion criteria. Findings suggest a limited number of publications, conducted mostly in northern Europe countries, in the education field. Regarding definitions and theoretical backgrounds, sociological, legal, democratic, and educational discourses converge. There is a prominence of qualitative studies, a greater focus of research on ideas about participation, and, to a lesser extent, a focus on practices to promote participation. There is more emphasis on teacher's perspectives and practices, with few studies relying on children as informants, and limited sound measures to assess children's participation. Future research should rely on multiple informants, and investigate associations between this right and children's individual outcomes."

The highlights of this article are:
"- Mapping of empirical research on children's right to participate in ECE.
- Limited number of publications, mostly from northern Europe and education field.
- Greater focus on ideas about participation and to a lesser extent on practices.
- Few studies relying on children as informants, and limited participation measures.
- Need to further investigate the effects of participation at the individual level."

This article is available here:

Reinforcing the children's right to participate, the ISOTIS team listened to children’s perspectives on inclusion and well-being at school. Click here to read more.

New blog piece: “The earlier, the better”

Which aspects increase chances of success when considering the development and implementation of youth policy?

ISOTIS researcher Pauline Slot (Utrecht University) tells us about important conditions in the scope of youth policy in a new blog piece on the EarlyYearsBlog.EU, available at the link below.

Starting early is the first condition mentioned. The researcher notes that "Prevention or early intervention, when problems are still mild, is in the benefit of the child and family". Children’s development can be enhanced by prevention programs. Pauline Slot adds that "Especially family healthcare, which includes for instance regular health check-ups and vaccinations for young children, but also screening of children’s development supports healthy development of children".

Using effective programs is also a relevant condition. Pauline Slot highlights that "It is important to use programs that have proven to be effective in changing the targeted behaviour or skills". She adds that "A (national) databank can be established to facilitate the use of evidence-based programs." This information can help professionals and parents to take well informed decisions.

Establishing a coherent, long-term cost-effective youth policy is the third condition mentioned. The researcher informs that there are two strategies for cost effective youth policy which are adopted, for instance, in the British policy Every Child Matters. The first strategy entails a small change for a large group of people: "To establish a small difference within a large group of people we need a collective prevention or public health approach". The second strategy concerns focusing on a large improvement for a small group of people, by targeting specific at-risk groups who are thought to benefit a lot by certain program. Pauline Slot notes that "These programs can also be preventive and aimed at parenting or family problems that are still in an early stage".

The researcher also addresses two other aspects. She highlights the relevance of a shift from a problem-oriented approach to a strengths-based approach focused on the empowerment of the families.  Additionally, she refers that it is important to include a focus on the wider social context the family, such as relatives, friends, and neighbours, (pre)school and community services.

Read the full blog piece here:

The earlier, the better

New ISOTIS report: Children’s views on inclusion at school

Children’s perspectives are essential to understand their lives from their unique viewpoint. Tackling children poverty and social exclusion and improving their well-being involves promoting children’s participation in decision-making in areas that affect them.

In a recent study, the ISOTIS team listened to children’s perspectives on inclusion and well-being at school and at identifying facilitating positive elements at school within cultural, religious and linguistic differences. Our team explored what children identified as quality indicators of school inclusiveness, and their suggestions to make school more welcoming and inclusive. Furthermore, this study explored a form of education through democracy, examining how a supportive democratic learning environment can be created.

Click here to read the technical report on the conduction of this study. It was edited by Giulia Pastori, Valentina Pagani and Alice Sophie Sarcinelli (University of Milano-Bicocca).

Participants were children in pre- and primary school settings and informal after-school contexts in areas characterized by high cultural diversity and social inequalities in seven European countries: the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, and Poland. Around 300 children in 14 different contexts participated.

This study was designed to complement the interviews aimed at parents, conducted in the scope of the project, to enable better understanding of experiences, perceptions and opinions of young children from native-born low income families, and families with ethnic minority and immigrant backgrounds regarding inclusion and well-being at school.

The goal was to allow children to express their perspectives about:
● what they thought about differences (at cultural, somatic, linguistic, socio-economic status);
● their social and cultural identity and their school context in terms of inclusion;
● what they identified as quality indicators of school inclusiveness;
● what they proposed to make their school more welcoming and inclusive.

The final objectives of the study were to:
● explore if/how the school supported inclusion, acknowledging and valuing diversity;
● understand what elements contributed to children’s well-being at school;
● explore children’s views on their (cultural) identity;
● elicit children’s proposals to make their school (more) inclusive;
● implement some proposals;
● offer a critical analysis of the methodological issues related to accessing children’s viewpoints, especially regarding sensitive issues such as inclusion.

Different activities were carried out to elicit children’s views. For instance, to collect the perspectives of 9-10 years old children on what makes them feel good and what does not make them feel good at school, children were given yellow suns and grey clouds cut from cardboard where they could wrote or drew. Suns were for elements that made them feel good and that they thought would give us an understanding of what are the nicest things about their school in their opinion. Clouds were for elements that did not make them feel good in their school contexts.

To collect the views from younger children, between 3-6 years old, one of the options foresaw involving children in a circle-time discussion about how to welcome new children that would start preschool the following year. This circle-time could be introduced by saying, for instance: Next year new children will start preschool. These new children won't know their new teachers, their classmates and the spaces at your school. How can we help them to feel comfortable with us?

Overall, this study intended to provide new perspectives and valuable ideas to inform policymakers, as well as a critical reflection and suggestions on methodological and ethical aspects of doing research with and for children, to enhance inclusive environments through children’s active participation and to empower children in their roles as democratic citizens.

Results about this study will be available shortly. Stay tuned!

Coordination between agencies in Europe and the UK to support children and families

Integrated working between services for families, in fields such as education, health, youth welfare, employment and criminal justice, has been tried in different European contexts. The goal has been to improve support for children and families, and to potentially reduce inequalities.

"Inter-agency working in Europe and the Uk to support vulnerable young children and families" is the title of a new article by ISOTIS researchers Jacqueline Barnes and Edward Melhuish (University of Oxford), published in the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development.

According to the authors, the inter-agency work has been promoted as a way to provide joined-up solutions for families who are likely to experience multifaceted problems, that are inadequately addressed by traditional separated services. For example, when services work separately, families may be involved in multiple assessments, with replicated explanations to many different professionals in different locations.

The authors highlight that agencies working in collaboration, with a shared vision, a common location, and (ideally) a common governance structure, can be responsive and efficient in supporting children and parents, and reducing inequalities.

Analysing Parent- and Family-Focused Support in Portugal

In Europe, different approaches are used to support families of young children and to promote the quality of their home learning environment.

In a new article, ISOTIS researchers Joana Cadima and Gil Nata (University of Porto) discuss the contextual factors, facilitators and underlying challenges of family support services in Portugal. "Parent- and family-focused support in Portugal: context and analysis of services/programmes from an equity perspective" is the title of this article, which is published in the Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal.

This article begins by providing an up-to-date overview of relevant social context statistics, about poverty, use of services and early education and care programs. These statistics contribute to document country policies regarding parents and families.

Then, 11 research-supported and promising parent- and family-focused support programs currently implemented in Portugal are analyzed. The authors discuss key features and principles that have been empirically determined to address social and educational inequalities.

Click here to read the full article.

ICT as a resource for family support programmes

The integration and use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is seen as a promising approach for family support programmes.

Our team studied promising or successful programmes focused on family and parenting support, and found that, in some cases, ICT was used as a communication tool to overcome language challenges.

However, the team also found that it was an unused resource. It was still not seen as a success factor by all participants in the examined programmes, although implemented officially in the concept of two programmes.

Our team points to the potential benefits of strategic ICT use within the programmes. The implementation of ICT tools needs to be adapted to the needs of the providers and families and should be supported through the professional development of the staff.


Integrating information on service coordination with parents’ and professionals’ experiences

Colleagues from England, the Netherlands, Greece and Portugal met at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, to discuss next steps in the scope of the project.

Our team aims to develop a comprehensive overview, relating information on service coordination (in fields such as education, health, social work, and welfare) with experiences of parents and (para)professionals living in the same areas. The goal is write a report that can guide future European developments in coordination between services involving young children and their families.

This work will integrate findings from previous ISOTIS studies, such us:
- The interviews with heads of services, coordinators, and local government representatives on collaboration between services for children and families. Click here to read more

- The interviews with parents with a Romani, Turkish, North-African, and native low-income background on their views and experiences with educational and support services, and on experiences of integration and inclusiveness. Click here to read more

-The survey among professionals working in formal and informal (education) sectors on cultural and linguistic beliefs, practices and organizational policies, relations with parents and other stakeholders, and staff’s work environment. In this survey, a wide range of professionals were involved, including teachers, specialists, managers and social and family workers, working in a variety of settings, such as early childhood education and care, formal education, after-school care and the social work sector. Findings of this survey will be released soon.

Stay tuned!

How can professionals working in culturally and linguistically diverse contexts be supported?

In the current educational world, more and more professionals are faced with issues of inclusiveness and multilingualism – or the use of multiple languages – in their classroom or services.

ISOTIS developed an inventory of promising interventions aimed to support professionals working with the issues of inclusiveness and multilingualism.

Click here to read the full inventory

In the video below, ISOTIS researcher Pauline Slot (Utrecht University) tells us about the lessons learned from this inventory.

She also addresses the next steps in the scope of the project to support professionals working in culturally and linguistically diverse contexts.

Cultural diversity and inclusiveness. How to ensure that every child belongs?

Author: Pauline Slot, Utrecht University
Retrieved from

It is Monday morning. The children slowly arrive at the preschool in The Netherlands. Emin and Enes immediately dive into the house corner upon arrival. The girls always meet up and like to play together. They are completely absorbed in their pretend play and speak alternately Turkish and Dutch. They have a lot of fun together.

Cultural diversity

Every child wants to feel that they are seen and heard; that they belong. This applies to Dutch children and also, perhaps even more, to children from different cultural backgrounds or who speak a different language at home. How do you ensure that all children have the feeling that they belong in the group?

Looking at the example described above, what would be the best way to respond? Let the children keep on playing? Or show interest in their pretend play and their use of language (both Turkish and Dutch)? Maybe ask another, Dutch, child to play with Emin and Enes and see what happens? Or tell the children that speaking Dutch is mandatory? In order to answer this dilemma, we first have to find out why the children speak Turkish while playing.

From security to inclusiveness

People look for like-minded people and that also applies to children. Try to imagine being a Turkish child going to the preschool for the first time and only speak a few words of Dutch. Everything is new and exciting. You cannot completely comprehend what is happening. You look for support, familiarity and recognition and find this with a child who speaks the same language. Support, familiarity and recognition is essential for the well-being and sense of security of a child. Only when a child feels safe, he or she can develop and learn the Dutch language.

Four tips to promote inclusiveness:

    1. Acknowledge the home language of children as part of their identity. Be open and use other home languages when this is functional, for example to make a child feel safe, or to learn from each other, for example how to say “chicken, cow or sheep” in different languages. Also, explain that the majority language is the language of all of us.
    2. Talk to each other about differences and similarities between people. It can be about visible characteristics, such as hair or eye colour. Also, try to go a little further by talking about things that are not immediately visible, such as a hobby or something that a child likes to do. Do this with an open and gender-neutral attitude (avoid stereotyping based on gender or cultural background). This can improve and enhance empathy in children.
    3. Provide play or activities where children work together as a group and encourage children to help each other and work together. This way everyone can experience that they belong.
    4. Take a critical look at your materials and toys. Can all children from different backgrounds identify with this? Are there people from different backgrounds in the books you read? Are there multiple skin tones available for colouring or painting?

Mixed group

Many groups include children from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. To ensure that every child feels seen and heard, it is important not only to pay attention to the differences between children, but also to reflect on the similarities. It is important to give children the message that all (other) home languages ​​are important and contribute to who they are and where they come from. At the same time, Dutch is the language that connects all children in preschool. For this reason, it is also important that children speak Dutch with each other. Explain this to children and use the home language as support to learn from and with each other. Show interest in the different home languages ​​and use them while learning Dutch. For example, make a list of commonly used words in all different languages spoken by the children and display this on the wall at preschool (ask parents for help to make this list).

Diversity means acknowledging that there are differences between people. Inclusiveness means embracing those differences and ensuring that everyone belongs. As a pedagogical professional, be aware of this as and try to remember why children do what they do, so that you can support them even better.

I can always count on her. What migrant parents value in their relationships with the (pre)school.

Author: Melissa Be, Utrecht University
Retrieved from:


When I have something on my mind, I just walk to the teacher. Yes, I’ll ask for suggestions like ‘how do I need to do these things at home? Do you have suggestions?’ Yes, I can always count on her.” – Batoul, parent of Dahbi (4 years old).

Parental involvement

In the Netherlands, like in other countries, there is increasing attention for parent-(pre)school partnerships. Good collaboration and cooperation between parents and teachers are very important for the child’s development. It affects their school outcomes, work attitude, social-emotional functioning and their wellbeing.

Parental involvement is a difficult concept:
- Parental involvement is more than only active involvement of parents at the (pre)school, for example in assisting in (pre)school activities.
- It is also, maybe more importantly, about the contact and exchange of information with (pre)school teachers about the development and wellbeing of the child.
- Furthermore, it is about stimulating the child’s development at home. Parental involvement is a two-way street in which both parent and (pre)schools need to take responsibility.

How does your (pre)school encourage parental involvement? More information about the different types of parental involvement can be found in the article by Epstein [1].

Positive experiences of migrant parents

Yes, I can always count on her”, this is what Batoul likes about the relationship with her daughter’s teacher. Batoul is one of the participants of the parent-interview study of the ISOTIS project [2]. The main goal of the European ISOTIS project is to promote equality and inclusion in education and society. Besides Batoul, 41 other parents with a migrant-background participated in this study to share their experiences with the educational system in the Netherlands. This study looked more closely at what parents value in their contact with the (pre)school and the professionals working there. What do parents see as key ingredients that stimulate parental involvement?

4 key ingredients for enhancing parental involvement

Based on what the parents expressed in the interview study, we have some suggestions:

Invest in personal one-on-one contact with the parent. Parents appreciate that they can always talk and reach out to the teacher. One parent mentioned that she received suggestions about how she could deal with her child’s behavior. It is important to give parents the feeling that you are standing on the same side. So, respond to their questions seriously and acknowledge that raising a child is not always easy and that you can find a good solution together.

Show interest and take initiative in the communication with the parent. When parents bring or pick up their child are good opportunities to start an (informal) conversation. Express an interest in parents’ background and explore whether you have some shared interests.

Share positive experiences and express positive expectations about the child’s development. What went well today? Share these experiences and explain why these contribute to the development of the child. Parents appreciate being informed about the activities of the child at (pre)school, for example through photos or a group app. ‘then I can show the picture and my child responds with ‘I was too afraid to come close to the animals’. Then you have a conversation with your child about it, about school. Because if you ask your child ‘how was school?’ ‘Yes mom, good, it was nice’, then you’ll get a short answer. Parents like to hear when things are going well with their child, so do not only communicate with them when there are problems.

Create a meeting place within a (pre)school where parents can come together and meet each other. A good initiative in Rotterdam and Utrecht is the ‘parent room’. This is a place in the school where parents can drink coffee with each other and also learn about current educational projects in the school. Parents did mention the importance of a coordinator (‘parent broker’) who is able to enhance a safe environment and make sure that all parents are able to ask their questions.

What to do as a (pre)school?

To stimulate parental involvement, it is important to position yourself at an equal level as the parent and collaborate as a team to foster the child’s development at (pre)school and at home. Make sure your (pre)school is a ‘safe haven’, a meeting place for parents and teachers. Welcome different (cultural) backgrounds and start a conversation when you have the feeling that you and the parent are not on the same page. Collaborate and think of a solution in the best interest of the child. A principal can be very valuable here, because he/she can make sure that all professionals are aligned in their practices, for example in the communication with parents. Which norms and values are important? Which needs do parents have? And what is expected of parents? How do you create an open, safe and positive (pre)school environment? Talk with parents about these issues to create a good relationship that will support children’s prosperous development and wellbeing.

[1] Epstein – 6 types of parental involvement

[2] More about ISOTIS: ISOTIS

Today is #InternationalRomaDay!

Our team interviewed parents with a Romani background about their experiences with educational and support services, and experiences of integration and inclusiveness. These interviews were conducted in the Czech Republic, Greece and Portugal.

Click here to read the report on these interviews

Preliminary findings suggested that parents perceived a high level of social support, but also confirmed experiences of financial hardship. The results also indicated differences across countries, which might be related to specific country systems and regulations. More findings will be shared soon!

ISOTIS aims to give families a voice in how to adapt early education systems and support services. Join us!

Portugal: Novo vídeo sobre políticas de apoio à inclusão nas escolas / New video on policies to promote inclusiveness in schools.

O inventário do ISOTIS sobre intervenções promissoras focadas no currículo, pedagogias, e clima social destaca a importância do sentimento de pertencimento das crianças em salas de aula e escolas inclusivas.

Clique aqui para ler o sumário executivo do inventário.

No vídeo abaixo, a investigadora do ISOTIS Cecília Aguiar (ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa) fala-nos acerca de políticas que poderiam promover a inclusão e o sentimento de pertença dos alunos em Portugal.

The ISOTIS inventory of promising interventions on curriculum, pedagogy, and social climate highlights the importance of children's sense of belonging in inclusive classrooms and schools.

Click here to read the executive summary of the inventory

In the video below, ISOTIS researcher Cecília Aguiar (ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa) tells us about what policies could promote inclusiveness and students’ sense of belonging in Portugal.
- ENGLISH subtitles available -

New REPORT on collaboration between services for families

The collaboration between services for children and families, in fields such as education, health, social work, and welfare, is increasingly recognized as important to tackle social and educational inequalities.

To improve outreach and efficiency of social responses and services, it is important to identify facilitating factors, barriers, and impacts regarding the collaboration between services.

The ISOTIS team interviewed heads of services, coordinators, and local government representatives about these topics. The interviews were conducted in nine European countries: the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.

The findings of these interviews are included in a new ISOTIS report. The executive summary is available here. The full report will be available soon.

According to the report, public, private, and non-profit entities are playing an increasingly important role in the implementation of measures to promote inclusiveness.

The government has a key role in supporting the collaboration between services, by coordinating, monitoring, and/or providing funding.

Support from the organizations was highlighted as important by the interviewees, namely to ensure the continuity of human resources, and appropriate professionals' time and task allocation.

Involving the professionals working in the field and the services' users was acknowledged as relevant to enhance the provision of relevant services that match the local needs.

Investing in professional development, defining agencies and professionals’ roles, and clarifying lines of communication between them were also mentioned key factors to ensure the commitment of all the stakeholders involved.

The evaluation of impacts and monitoring of collaboration between services were found as major priorities. The evaluation of children’s outcomes is particularly scarce. Developing evaluation and monitoring plans, and participatory diagnoses to promote changes can constitute a key contribute to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the collaboration between services.

This new report was edited by Joana Guerra, Catarina Leitão and Clara Barata (University of Coimbra).

Click here to read the executive summary 


New ISOTIS report on curriculum, classroom practices & social climate

Reciprocal family-school relationships, staff selection, training, and support, as well as a strong institutional equity culture are important conditions to promote inclusiveness and belongingness in early childhood education and primary school.

This is one of the central conclusions of the new ISOTIS REPORT on promising interventions tackling educational inequalities through curriculum, classroom practices, and/or school social climate. The interventions studied by our team were being conducted in: England, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Portugal.

The report was edited by ISOTIS researchers Cecília Aguiar and Carla Silva (ISCTE-IUL).

Click here and read the full report

How diverse parents are supporting and engaging their children?

The ISOTIS team interviewed linguistically and culturally diverse parents about their views and experiences related to their children’s education.

In the video below, ISOTIS researcher Katrin Wolf (Free University of Berlin) and coordinator Paul Leseman (Utrecht University) tell us how these parents are supporting and engaging their children.

The researchers also highlight experiences shared by parents that need to be in the European public's attention. Watch the video below and tell us your views on the parents' experiences.

Interview with ISOTIS researchers / Interview over ISOTIS, meertaligheid en een carrière in de wetenschap

ISOTIS coordinator Paul Leseman and ISOTIS researcher Ryanne Francot (Utrecht University) gave an interview to the journal DUB, the independent news site of Utrecht University. They talked about ISOTIS, multilingualism and a career in science.

Regarding the use of multiple languages, Paul Lesemen referred that: “Research shows that multilingualism trains your brain, that it results in a higher cognitive flexibility, and possibly in greater creativity. And in our globalised world, we need people who speak multiple languages. It provides economic opportunities – they can work for companies that do business with China, Arabic countries, or Turkey…”.

To prevent children who grow up multilingual from falling behind in one of their languages, Ryanne Francot explained that: “It’s important that children come into contact with both languages in the right way, at a young age. Preferably, the mother tongue is encouraged at home, and pre-school teaches Dutch.” Paul Leseman added: “If children are proficient in their mother tongue, it helps them in learning a second language.”

Concerning the studies developed in the scope of ISOTIS, Paul Leseman highlighted: “We’re learning a lot, for instance, from a large-scale interview project, for which we talked to 4,000 parents from marginalised groups in ten European countries. Those parents have high ambitions for their children’s success at school, too, and they want to invest in their education. But poverty, discrimination, and segregation have strong negative influences.”

The researchers emphasized the importance of the relation between parents and professionals in (pre)schools, neighbourhood facilities and youth care. Ryanne Francot said: “If parents experience a positive connection with professionals, and they feel like these professionals are there to help their children, it mutes the negative effects of poverty, unsafe neighbourhoods, and perceived discrimination.”

Read the full interview here:



Dubbelinterview met Prof. Paul Leseman en Ryanne Francot over ISOTIS, meertaligheid en een carrière in de wetenschap. 

"Hoe maatschappelijke bevlogenheid wetenschappelijk vuur laat branden

Meertalige kinderen zijn een verrijking voor ons land, zeggen oude rot Paul Leseman en jonge hond Ryanne Francot. Zaak is wel dat de beheersing van de ene taal niet lijdt onder de beheersing van de andere taal. Hoe je dat in goede banen kan leiden, is één van de onderzoeksonderwerpen van het duo."

Digitaal Universiteitsblad DUB
Lees het hele interview hier:


How to promote diverse children’s sense of belongingness to schools?

The importance of children’s sense of belongingness in inclusive classrooms and schools is highlighted in the ISOTIS inventory on promising curriculum, pedagogy, and social climate interventions.

Click here to read the full inventory. 

Watch ISOTIS researcher Cecília Aguiar (ISCTE-IUL) explaining how the sense of belongingness of linguistically and culturally diverse children can be promoted. She also addresses how policymakers can support school professionals to potentiate the inclusion of diverse children. Finally, find out which are the next steps in ISOTIS regarding inclusive curricula and educational practices.

ISOTIS report highlights the importance of trusting relationships in programmes focused on family and parenting support

ISOTIS releases a new report of promising or successful programmes focused on family and parenting support. Our team studied programmes implemented in England, Germany, the Netherlands, and Portugal. The goal was to shed light on how these programmes overcomed existing challenges, and ensured high outreach and process quality.

According to the report, one of the main success factors contributing to effective outreach was the establishment and use of trusting relationships.

In different programmes, it was highlighted that the practitioners working with families need to be trusted members of the community. The practitioner should be someone parents can identify. This may be fostered by shared backgrounds and experiences, or by deep knowledge about the families. The programmes met the families through trusted organisations and key-persons, who already had contact with parents at places where they spent their time.

Findings indicated that practitioners should meet the parents at eye level, and respect them as experts of their own children. Professionals' attitudes towards the families, such as respect, egalitarian view on parents, and empowerment, were acknowledged as relevant for effective outreach.

The programmes were made visible through communication channels seen and listened to by the families. These programmes were promoted in a non-stigmatizing way, and offered at pleasant schedules regarding times and places of classes or meetings.

However, the authors highlight that the partners involved in the programmes, communication channels used, and concrete activities offered need to be carefully adapted to the specific needs of the families in a given context. Successful or promising programmes seem to be characterized by the interplay of factors, which may be different depending on the societal context and change over time.

"Case studies of promising parent- and family-focused support programmes" is the title of this new ISOTIS report. It is authored by Franziska Cohen, Mareike Trauernicht (both from Freie Universität Berlin), Joana Cadima, Gil Nata (both from University of Porto), Katharina Ereky-Stevens (University of Oxford), Martine Broekhuizen, Ryanne Francot (both Utrecht University), and Yvonne Anders (Freie Universität Berlin).

Click here to read the executive summary

Click here to read the full report

New video on coordinating services for children and families

The coordination of services for children and families can promote equality and inclusiveness.

ISOTIS researcher Jacqueline Barnes (University of Oxford) explains how the coordination of services can make a difference in the lives of culturally and linguistically diverse children and families. The researcher also tells us about factors that can facilitate successful practices in this scope, and why it is still hard to implement them.

International Mother Language Day / Journée internationale de la langue maternelle

The International Mother Language Day is celebrated tomorrow, on February 21! The overall objective is to promote linguistic diversity and multilingual education.

Globally, 40% of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand, according to information provided by UNESCO (read here).

ISOTIS aims to support culturally and linguistically diverse families and communities in using their own social, cultural and linguistic resources. Our team is developing a Virtual Learning Environment to support multilingualism, enhance the parent-school partnerships and promote inclusiveness in the classroom.


Journée internationale de la langue maternelle: 21 février

Selon l’UNESCO, environ 40 % des habitants du monde n’ont pas accès à l’instruction dans une langue qu’ils parlent ou comprennent. (

ISOTIS le fera en générant des recommandations pour aider les familles et les communautés culturellement et linguistiquement diverses à utiliser leurs propres ressources sociales, culturelles et linguistiques pour créer un environnement familial bénéfique et stimulant pour leurs enfants.

Norway: Scale-up of universal ECEC led to improved children’s language skills

Norway scaled up universal Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) from age 1.

The consequences of Norway universal ECEC scale-up for children’s early language skills were investigated by ISOTIS researcher Henrik Daae Zachrisson (University of Oslo) and colleagues.

The focus on early language skills was driven by evidence that differences in early language help explain a considerable portion of the differences in school achievement between children from lower and higher income backgrounds during elementary school. Additionally, early caregiving environments are critical to developing early language skills.

Results indicated the scale-up of universal ECEC led to improved language skills, particularly for children from low-income backgrounds.

According to the authors, the results from this study help to inform the debate about the merits of universal policies,  which are designed to serve all children, versus targeted policies, which exclusively serve children in vulnerable living situations. The results may also provoke discussion about the benefits of beginning ECEC programs as early as infancy.

The authors concluded that the study increased evidence that nations can implement publically subsidized and regulated ECEC programs for very young children at scale with a potential benefit of narrowing achievement gaps between children.

The study is described in the article "Estimating the consequences of Norway’s national scale-up of Early Childhood Education and Care (beginning in infancy) for early language skills", published in the journal AERA Open.

Click here to read the full article

New ISOTIS report: Interviews with parents

The interviews with parents conducted by our team are now documented in a new report, available here.

Parents with a Romani, Turkish, North-African, and native low-income background were asked about their views and experiences with educational and support services, and experiences of integration and inclusiveness. The interviews were conducted in ten European countries: the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Portugal.

Regarding the life situations of families with a Romani background, preliminary findings confirmed experiences of financial hardship. On the other hand, findings suggested that parents perceive a high level of social support. The results also indicated differences across countries, which might be related to specific country systems and regulations.

The main authors of the report are: Martine Broekhuizen (Utrecht University), Katharina Ereky-Stevens (University of Oxford), Katrin Wolf (Free University of Berlin), Thomas Moser (University of South Eastern Norway).

Click here to read the executive summary

Click here to read the full report

New educational blog launched: the

The is a new educational blog. It aims to help early childhood education professionals innovate their pedagogical practices and promote the inclusion of all children. Teachers, educators, caregivers, policy makers, and researchers can find topics related to high–quality practices in education, diversity and multilingualism.

The blog is an initiative in the scope of Erasmus+ project BECERID, and it is coordinated by ODISEE (Belgium). ISOTIS researchers from Utrecht University (the Netherlands), ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (Portugal), and University of Warsaw (Poland) are part of the team of this project.

Click here and discover more about the reasons to follow the in a message by ISOTIS researcher Cecília Aguiar (ISCTE-IUL).

Visit the blog:

Parents share their experiences about neighborhood safety

Our team interviewed parents and asked them about the experience of raising their children in the neighborhood where they live. ISOTIS researchers Charlotte Meijers and Martine Broekhuizen (Utrecht University) tell us about the experiences shared by parents with a Turkish or Moroccan background living in the Netherlands, in Utrecht or Rotterdam, in this new blog post (in Dutch).

According to the researchers, many parents perceive their neighborhood as unsafe. They do not let their children play outside alone, despite they recognize the importance of children playing outside with friends, and doing exercise. Parents feel unsafe in the neighborhood due to, for instance, drug dealers, crime, traffic, and dangerous substances or objects, such as needles, on the street and playgrounds.

Parents would like to see more control by the police. For them, a safe playground would be well-organized, well-sealed, and illuminated in the evening. Parents also value activities and sports facilities for children in the neighborhood. Other initiatives mentioned that contribute to a safer neighborhood include:

- The arrival of youth workers and teams that, for instance, offer free accessible basic care to families and young people. Several parents say that they have built up a relationship of trust with a team member, and they can ask this person for help.

- Informative meetings about the neighborhood, that may include sharing knowledge about dangers for children. A valued initiative mentioned concerns a project conducted in a number of neighborhoods in Rotterdam, where police, in collaboration with staff from area, youth workers and schools, give parents information about issues that children of the neighborhood may encounter, such as street culture and (youth) crime. Check this project here.

- Initiatives to improve the atmosphere of the neighborhood. For instance, a group of mothers decided to clean it up regularly. Other initiatives include organizing a 'plant day', during which residents put plants and flowers in different places, or making and painting benches, with the involvement of the children. These activities can help residents to get to know and help each other.

- Initiatives to get to know people in the neighborhood, such as street festivals or an annual activity organized with neighbors. By knowing who lives in the neighborhood, mutual trust can be strengthened and personal contact can be created more quickly. This contributes to feelings of safety and familiarity in the neighborhood.

The researchers highlight that taking into account these practices and initiatives is therefore important to improve the safety of the neighborhoods for children and families. Parents themselves have the motivation to contribute to the safety of the environment where they live.

Read the full blog post in Dutch:

New ISOTIS report: Roots and development of achievement gaps

The early years of life, before entering school, are formative for patterns of inequality in educational achievement between children from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and between children with and without a migration background. Therefore, providing support before school age to children from families with less economical and educational resources, and to children who or their parents were born in a different country has the potential of reducing future achievement gaps.

This is one of the central recommendations of the new ISOTIS report Roots and developmenof achievement gaps - A Longitudinal assessment in selected European countries, based on results from Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Italy. The report analyses the evolution of achievement gaps in children from infancy and preschool age up to end of compulsory schooling. It was edited by Giampiero Passaretta and Jan Skopek (Trinity College Dublin), and co-authored by colleagues from the University of Utrecht, University of Oslo and University of Milano-Bicocca.

The authors found that children from high-income families and from parents with a high level of education perform better than children from less affluent families and whose parents have less educational resources. Importantly, these socio-economically determined gaps are already visible in the very early years of life, tend to increase steadily over infancy, and are well established even before children enter primary school. After transition to school, socio-economically determined gaps in achievement remain quite stable, and increase only slightly throughout years of primary and secondary education. Considerable similarities in the evolution of socio-economically determined achievement gaps were found across countries. The authors conclude that preschool-age interventions that facilitate a more equalized start into school life hold the promise of reducing a large part of socio-economically determined achievement gaps in later school career.

Children with a migration background enter school with a substantial disadvantage, but enjoy over-proportional achievement gains in school in general. Yet these findings vary between countries and target groups. In some countries, initial disadvantages of children with a migrant background vanish almost entirely after school entry. When starting into school at the same achievement level, many children with migrant background are outperforming children of native families. Thus, the authors conclude that reducing migration-related inequality in preschool age could have the potential to eradicate children's penalties in school-age, and contribute to high educational achievement.

That authors highlight that preschool- and school-age interventions may include policies expanding Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services or improving the quality of ECEC services or schools, and also policies targeting the families' home or neighbourhood, through appropriate financial and social support.

Read the full report here:

New ISOTIS study: Parental involvement in reading activities in diverse families

Reading activities involving both children and parents can have a positive effect on young children’s literacy development and achievement. However, few studies focusing on reading activities in culturally diverse families are known.

In a recent study conducted in the scope of ISOTIS, in Portugal, Roma families and non-Roma families experiencing financial hardship, with 3 to 6 year-old children, were interviewed about the frequency of reading activities involving adults and children at their home.

Findings indicated that the frequency of adult-child reading activities at home can be potentiated by reinforcing Roma families’ educational aspirations for their children, and by creating opportunities for positive social interactions between parents in the preschool setting, particularly for families experiencing financial hardship.

This study was carried out by ISOTIS researchers Inês Ferreira, Carla Silva, Leonor Neves (all from ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa), Sofia Guichard (University of Porto), and Cecília Aguiar (ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa). It was presented at the EDULOG 2018 international conference.

See the poster presented here

How to promote diverse children’s feeling of belonging in the preschool?

In the preschool, many groups have children from different cultural backgrounds or who speak a different language at home. To ensure that all children feel seen and heard, and that they belong to the group, ISOTIS researcher Pauline Slot (Utrecht University) presents recommendations on the Early Years Blog.

Pauline Slot highlights that it is important not only to pay attention to differences between children, but also to similarities. She recommends giving children the message that all (other) home languages ​​are important and part of who they are and come from. At the same time, it is also important that children speak the country language to each other, since it is the language that connects all.

Home language can be used to support children to learn from each other and with each other. It is important to show interest in the different home languages ​​and to use them in learning the country language. For example, the teacher/educator can hang up a glossary of common words in all different languages ​​spoken by the children.

To promote inclusion in the preschool, Pauline Slot shares the following recommendations:

-  Recognize the home language of children as part of their identity. Use other home languages to make children learn from each other. For instance, they can learn in different languages ​​how to say "chicken, cow or sheep". In addition, explain that the country language is the language that connects all.

- Talk about differences and similarities between people. This can be about external characteristics, such as the color of hair or eyes. But, try to go a little further by talking about things that are not immediately visible, such as a hobby or something that a child likes to do. Do this from an open and gender neutral attitude (avoid stereotyping based on sex or cultural background). This can promote the empathy of children.

- Offer group activities and encourage children to work together, and help each other. This way everyone can feel that he or she belongs.

- Take a critical look at the material available. Can all children from different backgrounds identify with it? Do people from different backgrounds appear in the books you read? Are there multiple skin color tones for painting?

Read the full blog post in Dutch:


ISOTIS discussed promising parenting support programmes at the ESFR congress

ISOTIS researchers addressing promising parenting support programmes presented their studies at the 9th European Society on Family Relations (ESFR) congress.

The team highlighted that despite many European countries have set up approaches to support families of young children, to promote the quality of the home learning environment and to strengthen preschool-parent partnership, understanding the key features underlying successful interventions is still needed.

An overview of the available parenting and family services in the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Portugal was presented. ISOTIS researchers Joana Cadima, Gil Nata (both from University of Porto), and Yvonne Anders (Freie Universität Berlin) informed that:

"Although in all countries family support encompasses a broad range of services that cross several sectors, the participating countries vary considerably in terms of priorities and approaches to parenting support. While in all countries, some kind of parenting support is provided, in some of the countries, parenting support is part of a clear strategic framework that integrates a broad range of early intervention and prevention services for families, with a trend towards more holistic approaches to young people and their parents and an emphasis on greater state engagement with parents. Nevertheless, across countries, several challenges remain, in particular in regard to outreach, home language support and equal access to high quality provision." (ESFR 2018 - Book of Abstracts, page 15)

The team detailed studies on promising programmes in the Netherlands, Portugal, England and Germany.

The Step programme, in the Netherlands, was presented by ISOTIS researchers Ryanne Francot, Martine Broekhuizen, and Paul Leseman (Utrecht University). The programme offers support to families with low-income and/or with an immigrant background, with children aged 1 to 6 years. Its goal is to increase the educational chances of the children by stimulating the home learning environment and by supporting the partnership with preschools or schools. Valued aspects of the programme are its outreach strategy, which includes the use of local contact persons speaking the mother tongue of the families, and their use of ICT-based resources for supporting the families.

Family Skills was the programme from the English context presented by ISOTIS researchers Katharina Ereky-Stevens and Ester Saghy (University of Oxford). It is a national family and literacy programme targeted at migrant families - specifically parents/carers of reception aged children with English as an additional language. The programme addresses with families the benefits of bilingualism, the importance of home literacy and the value of using parents’ first language to facilitate child language learning. The goal is to increase the support children receive at home.

The (Class)rooms of glass from both sides was the Portuguese programme addressed by ISOTIS researchers Sofia Guichard, Joana Cadima, and Gil Nata (University of Porto). It is a local programme targeting Roma parents experiencing financial hardship. It aims to engage Roma children in preschool and to support their families, by carrying out playful learning activities on the streets of the neighbourhoods, where anyone from the community can watch and participate. The programme is known for its outreach strategies, using transparency (rooms of glass) and openness as means to gain parents’ trust, and to build strong family-school partnerships. A multidisciplinary team, in collaboration with local partners, carries out the activities on a weekly basis.

Chancenreich, in Germany, was the programme presented by ISOTIS researchers Mareike Trauernicht, Franziska Cohen, and Yvonne Anders (Freie Universität Berlin). It is a regional programme that aims to enhance parenting skills and child outcomes by offering a variety of approaches to the parents of children of up to 3 years of age. It uses a modular approach and although it seeks to reach out especially to parents in more vulnerable situations, it is open to all parents of newborns in the town. It offers a monetary incentive to all families who participate in at least five mandatory modules (e.g. the completion of one parenting training course).

Read the abstracts of the presentations here

The congress theme was: “Families through the lens of diversity”. It took place at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Porto, on September 5-8th. Visit the congress page here 


PhD Days 2018 – Working together for a phd

On the 10th and 11th of September, ISOTIS partner institution University of South-Eastern Norway held the event "PhD Days 2018 - Working together for a phd", in collaboration with Oslo Metropolitan University.

The purpose of the PhD Days was to bring together PhD students to learn about and discuss key challenges in educational research. The PhD Days included thematic sessions to discuss research design, methodology, as well as sessions on academic writing (articles) and publishing.

ISOTIS researchers were invited to give keynote lectures and to participate in workshops.

Thomas Moser (University of South-Eastern Norway) welcomed the participants and presented the lecture "Doctoral education in a European and a national perspective".

Paul Leseman (Utrecht University) gave the lecture "Inclusive education in a multicultural Europe". He also conducted the workshop "Education and quality in ECEC in a multicultural Europe". Both of these sessions were chaired by ISOTIS researcher Helga Norheim (University of South-Eastern Norway).

Katerina Sidiropulu Janku (Masaryk University) presented the lecture "Roma ancestry as an education handicap in the post-socialist Europa". She also conducted the workshop "Qualitative data analysis - biographical data in education research".

Find the programme here.

How to promote the cooperation between (pre-)school and parents?

ISOTIS researcher Melissa Be (Utrecht University) addresses the interviews with parents conducted by our team in the Early Years Blog.

Melissa Be highlights that in the Netherlands, and many other countries, there is increasing attention regarding the cooperation between (pre-) school and parents, since it influences school performance, work attitude, social-emotional functioning and the well-being of a child.

Based on the interviews with parents conducted in the scope of ISOTIS, Melissa Be presents recommendations for promoting cooperation between (pre-) school and parents, namely:

- Investing in one-to-one contact with the parents.
- Showing interest and taking initiative in communication with the parent.
- Sharing positive experiences and expressing positive expectations about the child (and the parent).
- Creating a meeting place within the school in which parents can come into contact with each other.

Find the full blog post in Dutch:

G20 reinforces the importance of Early Childhood Development

At the G20 summit in Argentina, the participating worlds’ leading economies agreed to prioritising Early Childhood Development.

The G20 Leaders' Declaration states:

"We launch the G20 Initiative for Early Childhood Development and stand ready to join all stakeholders in enhancing quality and sustainably financed early childhood programs that consider the multidimensional approach of ECD as means of building human capital to break the cycle of intergenerational and structural poverty, and of reducing inequalities, specially where young children are most vulnerable."

As highlighted in the document Investing in Early Childhood Development, co-authored by the World Bank Group, the Inter-American Development Bank, and UNICEF for the G20 Development Working Group (DWG):

"Early childhood is a critical time for individual growth. This short period is unique because of the unparalleled speed at which brain architecture develops. The experiences in the first few years of life have serious, long-lasting consequences for every child’s future health, learning, and earnings potential, thus laying the foundation not only for human capital development but, indirectly, for societies and their sustainable development."



2/3 children in Europe feel positive about migrants – says UNICEF-Eurochild survey “Europe Kids Want”

The ´Europe Kids Want´ online survey was launched in June this year by UNICEF and Eurochild. Nearly 14,000 children and young people from 23 countries participated giving responses to topics such as: school safety, climate change, family environment and online behavior. The first findings were released on November 20, the World Children’s Day.

According to the findings, the majority of children and young people were curious and welcoming towards people from a different country, with a different language, culture or religion living in their area. Among the participants, 68% reported they felt welcoming and curious to get to know people from a different country.

Tolerance and being treated equally featured prominently amongst the expectations of children when dealing with the online environment or in response to how people from other countries or backgrounds should be treated.

When asked if they had to go and live in a new place, making new friends and speaking the local language were the two most important issues for children and young people to feel at home. Making new friends was replied by around 63% of the participants, and being able to speak the language by around 58% of the participants.

Read the first assessment of the responses of 14,000 children to the Europe Kids Want survey

Go to the Europe Kids Want survey - The poll remains open and is available in 29 languages.

Sharing ISOTIS preliminary findings with Turkish mothers in the Netherlands / Hollanda’da anneler ile ISOTIS bulgularını paylaşma

The ISOTIS team interviewed parents of children with a Turkish, North-African, Romani and Native-born low-SES background about their views and experiences with educational systems and support services, and their experiences of integration and inclusiveness.  These interviews occurred in ten European countries: the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Portugal.

Following the interviews, the participating Turkish mothers from the Netherlands asked our team to develop a seminar about the themes covered by ISOTIS. On November 17, ISOTIS researcher Ayça Alayli (Utrecht University) conducted a seminar in the city of Amsterdam, addressing children’s social and cognitive development, raising children in multilingual and multicultural environments, and device and screen use.

She also presented preliminary ISOTIS findings from the interviews with parents. Namely, there seems to be a discrepancy between the reality of everyday life at the local level and the reality of public media discourse.

The interviewed parents report, on average, low discrimination by other parents and neighbours, reasonable inter-group contact, and positive supportive relations with professionals in education, care and health care at the local level.

However, the experienced discrimination in public discourse, media and social media is high and this negatively affects parents’ wellbeing and feelings of belongingness to the country.

The overall positive personal relations with professionals at the local level are a protective buffer against the negative effects of media discrimination.

ISOTIS ekibi Türkiye, Kuzey Afrika ve Romani kökenli ve düşük sosyo-ekonomik statüden gelen yerli çocukların aileleri ile onların eğitim sistemleri ve destek servisleri hakkındaki görüşleri, ve bu ailelerin entegrasyon ve kapsayıcılık sürecindeki tecrübeleri hakkında görüşmeler gerçekleştirdi. Bu görüşmeler on farklı Avrupa ülkesinde yapıldı: Çek Cumhuriyeti, İngiltere, Fransa, Almanya, Yunanistan, İtalya, Hollanda, Norveç, Polonya ve Portekiz.

Görüşme sürecinin bitmesinin ardından, Hollanda’da yaşayan Türk katılımcı annelerin talebi üzerine, Hollanda ekibi tarafından ISOTIS projesinin ekseninde olan konuları ele alan bir seminer geliştirildi. Bu seminer 17 Kasım tarihinde Amsterdam şehrinde Ayça Alaylı (Utrecht Üniversitesi) tarafından verildi. Seminerin ana konuları sosyal ve bilişsel gelişim, iki dilli ve kültürlü ortamlarda çocuk yetiştirme, teknolojik cihaz ve ekran kullanımı üzerineydi.

Bu seminerde Ayça Alaylı ayrıca ISOTIS projesinin öncül bulgularını da aileler ile paylaştı. Bu öncül bulguları özetleyecek olursak: Yerel seviyede gündelik yaşam ile genel medya söylemleri arasıda farklar var gibi gözüküyor.

Aileler ortalama olarak diğer anne babalar ve komşular tarafından düşük seviyelerde ayrımcılık algıladıklarını, makul derecede gruplar arası etkileşim olduğunu ve eğitim ve sağlık kurumlarındaki personeller ile olumlu ilişkiler kurduklarını belirtiyorlar.

Ancak, medya söylemi olarak toplum seviyesinde algılanan ayrımcılık yüksek oranlarda belirtiliyor. Bu durum da ailelerin refahını ve bulundukları ülkeye karşı duydukları aidiyet hissini olumsuz etkiliyor.

Yerel seviyede profesyoneller ile kurulan olumlu ilişkiler medya söylemi olarak algılanan ayrımcılığın olumsuz etkilerine karşı koruyucu bir faktör olabiliyor.


Ayça Alaylı ailelerin çocuk yetiştirme tecrübeleri ve çocuklarının eğitim hayatları hakkındaki anne babalara yönelik olarak yapılan anket çalışmasının amaçlarını anlatıyor. Ankette yer alan başlıca konular, anne-babaların eğitim sistemi ve destek servisleri ile olan tecrübelerini, çocukları için dilek ve temennilerini ve kaynak ve destek ihtiyaçlarını kapsıyor.

UNESCO: Education systems need to enhance the inclusion of migrant and refugee children

UNESCO releases the 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report, Migration, displacement and education. It highlights countries’ achievements and shortcomings in ensuring the right of migrant and refugee children to benefit from quality education. It also addresses major barriers these children still face to access an inclusive education.

The report indicates that the number of migrant and refugee school-age children around the world today has grown by 26% since 2000 and could fill half a million classrooms.

There has been progress in the inclusion of refugees in national education systems, as seen in eight of the top ten refugee hosting countries. Chad, Ethiopia, Uganda, Canada and Ireland are among the global leaders in implementing inclusive education policies for immigrants. However, in the two years since the landmark New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants in 2016, refugees have missed 1.5 billion days of school worldwide.

The share of students with immigrant backgrounds in high income countries has increased from 15% to 18% between 2005 and 2017, reaching 36 million. But, the report indicates that immigrant children are still not given a fair chance to succeed. In 2015, first-generation immigrant students in the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) were 32% less likely than natives to achieve basic skills in reading, mathematics and science.

In 2017, in the European Union, twice as many young people born abroad left school early compared to natives. Students with a migrant background reported a lower sense of belonging at school, were less satisfied with their life, and experienced more school related anxiety than native students, as indicated in the European Commission Education and Training Monitor.

To improve the inclusion of migrants and refugees children in national education systems, the UNESCO report gives the following recommendations:

- Protect the right to education of migrants and displaced people.
- Include migrants and displaced people in the national education system.
- Understand and plan to meet the education needs of migrants and displaced people.
- Represent migration and displacement histories in education accurately to challenge prejudices.
- Prepare teachers of migrants and refugees to address diversity and hardship.
- Harness the potential of migrants and displaced people.
- Support education needs of migrants and displaced people in humanitarian and development aid.

Find out more about the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report here:

Celebrating Universal Children’s Day

United Nations Universal Children’s Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated on November 20th. It is the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This day offers an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children's rights.

This year UNICEF launched a petition to call on world leaders to commit to fulfilling the rights of every child and acknowledge that these rights are non-negotiable. The goal is to build a world where every child is in school and learning, safe from harm and able to fulfill their potential.

More activities to celebrate this day include: wearing blue clothing or accessories and share with the world on social media; and taking part in the World’s Largest Lesson using the School Activity Packs.

Read more here

Portugal: Development of a project to combat school dropout / Desenvolvimento de um projeto para combater o abandono escolar

ISOTIS researcher Cecília Aguiar (ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon) and colleague addressed the relevance of an Education Observatory in the characterization of the phenomenon of school dropout, at the kick off meeting of the project Plano Integrado e Inovador de Combate ao Insucesso Escolar da Lezíria do Tejo (PiiCiE LT), in Santarém, Portugal.

This project defines a strategy of convergent implementation of a positive, innovative, creative and excellence education, to combat school dropout and failure, and to promote educational success for 2017-2020, in the Portuguese region Lezíria do Tejo. This investment involves the development of an inter-municipal collaborative network, that can potentiate the sharing and transfer of good practices, and a positive impact.

Meet the project here and watch the recording of the meeting below (in Portuguese).


A investigadora do ISOTIS Cecília Aguiar (ISCTE-IUL) e colega abordaram a relevância de um Observatório da Educação na caraterização do fenómeno do abandono escolar, na reunião de arranque do Plano Integrado e Inovador de Combate ao Insucesso Escolar da Lezíria do Tejo (PiiCiE LT), em Santarém.

O PiiCiE LT é um projeto que define uma estratégia de implementação convergente de uma educação positiva, inovadora, criativa e de excelência, como estratégia de um desenvolvimento económico e social da Lezíria do Tejo para combater o abandono e o insucesso escolar, e promover o sucesso educativo para o triénio 2017-2020. Este investimento preconiza a criação de uma rede de trabalho colaborativa intermunicipal, potenciadora de partilha e transferência interconcelhos de boas práticas, e de um impacto positivo.

Conheça o projeto aqui e assista ao vídeo da reunião seguidamente:

The European Commission releases the 2018 Education and Training Monitor

The Education and Training Monitor is a European Commission publication that presents a yearly evaluation of education and training systems across Europe. It emphasizes priority themes and informs national education reform debates in EU Member States.

According to the results showed in this publication, students with a migrant background on average report a slightly higher motivation to achieve academically than their native peers. However, students with a migrant background have considerably lower rates of attaining baseline academic proficiency in reading, maths and science, in the majority of the Member States. They also report a lower sense of belonging at school, are less satisfied with their life, and experience more school related anxiety than native students. 

Students with a migrant background continue to face obstacles, often due to their lower socioeconomic status and having to learn more than one language. As stated by European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, on the occasion of the release of the 2018 Education and Training Monitor: "Behind the poor educational performance lies the lack of knowledge of the language."

The results found reinforce that it is important to look at what happens in schools and classrooms, and what can be done to improve the situation. In this scope, ISOTIS is collecting information on best practice in curriculum, pedagogy and inclusive climate development in early childhood and primary school education. Our team is also developing a virtual learning environment to support multicultural and multilingual education. This tool will contribute to the development of the multi/intercultural competences of professionals.

Find the Monitor here

Supporting multicultural and multilingual education through a virtual learning environment

A major new task has started: the design, implementation and evaluation of a virtual learning environment to support multicultural and multilingual education at home and in (pre)school. This tool will contribute to the development of the multi/intercultural competences of professionals.

The ISOTIS Italian team has built a beautiful digital platform with multiple functionalities to support parents, children and teachers.

ISOTIS researchers in several countries are now equipping the platform with multicultural and multilingual activities, information, demonstration videos and much more, in close collaboration with children, parents and teachers.

These are exciting times and we look forward to sharing them with you!

Romani Early Years Network: Willing to speak Romani?

"Willing to speak Romani?" is the title of the article by ISOTIS researcher Stanislav Daniel (ISSA) on the Romani Early Years Network website.

Our colleague highlights that the acceptance of the Romani language is crucial to embrace diversity in today’s open society. The Romani language is part of cultural heritage and cultural wealth of the world. However, using this language beyond the Roma community can be a challenge.

Stanislav Daniel explains that there are two main streams in efforts to make Romani usable at the international level. One involves trying to develop new words by transforming the original ones. The other relies on the use of international words. Read the full article

This article was published on 5th of November - the International Day of Romani Language. This day was proclaimed by UNESCO and it is recognized by the Council of Europe. It emphasizes the promotion of language and culture of Roma people, and the support of multicultural values.

Conference on Cultural Diversity, Migration and Education

ISOTIS participated in the invited symposium Linguistic Diversity in the Classroom at the conference on Cultural Diversity, Migration and Education, organized in Potsdam, Germany, on August 23rd – 25th.

The aim of the conference was to better understand how cultural diversity and issues related to migration are potential resources that contribute to children’s positive educational experiences and promote school success.

"Home-(pre)school relations in culturally diverse Europe" was the theme addressed by ISOTIS coordinator Paul Leseman (Utrecht University) during the conference. He presented preliminary results of the ISOTIS large-scale interview study among immigrant, Roma and low-income parents in ten European countries.

Preliminary findings indicate that there seems to be a discrepancy between the reality of everyday life experienced by culturally and linguistically diverse families and the reality of public media discourse. Read more

Inclusion in Europe: Two realities?


The ISOTIS team interviewed parents with a Turkish, North-African, Romani and native low-income background about their views and experiences related to children's education. These interviews were conducted in the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Portugal.

Preliminary results are now coming to light. These early results seem to indicate that diverse families live in two realities.

Turkish and North-African immigrants, Roma and native low-income people are, overall, living well together in the locations where the ISOTIS study is being conducted. They report, on average, low discrimination by other parents and neighbours, reasonable inter-group contact, and positive supportive relations with professionals in education, care and health care at the local level.

Immigrant and Roma parents wish to preserve their heritage language and culture, but also agree with the importance of learning the national language and culture. Parents in all groups, including the native low-income group, share the value of recognizing, respecting and celebrating different cultural backgrounds in (pre)primary education.

However, the experienced discrimination in public discourse, media and social media is high and this negatively affects parents’ wellbeing and feelings of belongingness to the country. The overall positive personal relations with professionals at the local level are a protective buffer against the negative effects of media discrimination on parents’ wellbeing and sense of belongingness.

In sum, there seems to be a discrepancy between the reality of everyday life at the local level and the reality of public media discourse.

Watch ISOTIS researcher Martine Broekhuizen (Utrecht University) presenting the goals of the interviews with parents.

ISOTIS researcher met with Sri Lanka government representatives

Professor Edward Melhuish has advised a number of countries on their early childhood policies, most recently Sri Lanka.

Earlier this year, he made a presentation and held a series of discussions with Sri Lankan government officials on the long-term benefits of high quality early childhood education.  Sri Lanka subsequently boosted funding for early childhood education. He argues that Australian governments should follow the Sri Lankan government’s lead, and welcomed the Australian Labor Party’s commitment to increase Federal funding for early childhood education.

Professor Melhuish is Professor of Human Development at the University of Oxford and Principal Investigator on ISOTIS. He is also an adviser on childhood development issues to the OECD, European Commission, UNICEF and WHO. It was in his capacity as a UNICEF Ambassador that he made a presentation on “Building Brains, Building Futures: The Sri Lanka Early Childhood Development High-Level Meeting”, in July this year. Key government officials and advisors, including the education minister and the finance minister, were at the meeting.

Regarding this presentation, Professor Melhuish says that: “The message I gave them was that in order to provide an infrastructure for the level of economic development that Sri Lanka wants for its future generations, they needed to improve their early year services, particularly in the area of early education. I pointed out that other Asian countries such as Singapore, which Sri Lanka sees as a major competitor, had taken on board the international research and had started to invest much more heavily in early education. They were impressed by this comparison and by the evidence from around the world that I presented to them, and now the minister of finance has announced a massive increase in government spending on early education.

A large and growing body of research shows that quality early childhood education delivers a wide range of benefits, not just to the children involved, but to society overall. These include improved child well-being and learning, reduced poverty, increased social mobility, greater female workforce participation and increased social and economic development.

Professor Melhuish informs that: “The evidence from around the world is that when you invest in good quality early education, you see improved outcomes for children in their behavioural outcomes and in their early learning and capacity to adapt to school very quickly.

That impact at the start of school then has consequences for their later developmental trajectories. Those children with good preschool education for longer duration start on a high trajectory and maintain that trajectory through to the end of school, and finish with higher levels of qualifications. They subsequently get better jobs and show better social adjustment.

Thus, the skills base of the whole population is raised, and the economic potential of the country is improved. Those children are less likely to get involved in crime, to use drugs, to have an early pregnancy, or to get involved in risky behaviours that lead to bad health. They are less likely to be dependent on welfare and unemployment benefits, and more likely to be employed, paying taxes and improving government finances.

ISOTIS Newsletter released

We are delighted to share our newsletter from October!

Click here to read the newsletter

We invite you to read about preliminary results from our interviews aimed at parents. These results seem to indicate that diverse families live in two realities: one is the everyday life, and the other is the public media discourse.

Also, discover more about what is happening in ISOTIS. Findings have been shared at different events, and several related publications released.

Happy reading! Please, give us your feedback on our social media.


ISOTIS team at the ESA RN03 Conference in Łódź

The ISOTIS team participated in the mid-term conference of the European Sociological Association Research Network 03 (RN03) ‘Biographical Perspectives on European Societies’, in Łódź, Poland, on September 17-18. The theme of the conference was “Theoretical and empirical reflections on social disorganisation and “otherness” in modern European societies: Following the biographical and discursive approach of Thomas and Znaniecki’s legacy of “Polish Peasant in Europe and America”.

Our colleagues presented on the personal stories of migrant, Roma and low-income parents, collected through qualitative in-depth interviews. These presentations were included in the special panel session “ISOTIS project: The mothers' story of inequality and otherness in contemporary Europe: bringing up children in low income, immigrant and ethnic minority families”. ISOTIS researcher Lyudmila Nurse (University of Oxford) was an organiser and a convener of this panel session. Colleagues from Poland, Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands were presenters.

From left to right: Ayça Alayli (Utrecht University), Kateřina Sidiropulu-Janků and Jana Obrovská (Masaryk University), Lyudmila Nurse (University of Oxford), Alessandra Mussi (University of Milano-Bicocca), Paulina Marchlik (University of Warsaw), Katarzyna Gajek (University of Łodz), and Elżbieta Czerska-Szczepaniak (University of Warsaw).

ISOTIS researchers also participated in other conference sessions:

- Lyudmila Nurse (University of Oxford) chaired the session “Women’s Biographies in Various Contexts”. During this session, Jana Obrovská and Kateřina Sidoropulu-Janků (Masaryk University) presented “Between kidneys and skin. How Czech Roma mothers cope with ethnic othering”.

- Elżbieta Czerska-Szczepaniak (University of Warsaw) participated in the session Communities and Institutions: Different Aspects of Otherness”. She conducted the presentation “Institutional and informal support systems in raising a child in low income families- Polish mothers’ biographical reflections.

Visit the conference website:

Find the conference programme:

Germany: How do socially-determined gaps in achievement develop over time?

When do socially-determined gaps in cognitive achievement emerge, how large are they before children enter school, and how do they develop over schooling?

These questions are addressed by ISOTIS researchers Jan Skopek and Giampiero Passaretta in the recent article "The social stratification of skills from infancy to adolescence – Evidence from an accelerated longitudinal design". The researchers studied the evolution over time of achievement gaps related to the socio-economic status (SES) in children between 7 months and 16 years of age, in Germany.

Findings indicate gaps as early as 7 months of age, which expand before children enter school. However, these gaps remain fairly stable as children navigate through school. The researchers tentatively conclude that schooling decreases social inequality in learning. 


Find the full article here:

Happy World Teachers Day!

Today we celebrate the commitment of teachers and educators!

Quality education for all learners entails effective training and support for teachers and educators. ISOTIS aims to contribute to the professionalization of staff, centres and schools to improve quality and inclusiveness.

Read the ISOTIS publications on professional and organizational development:

- The role of professionals in promoting diversity and inclusiveness

- Inventory and analysis of professional development and models related to inclusiveness

Check out researcher Pauline Slot addressing the challenges facing professional development in multilingual and diverse cultural backgrounds, and the innovations proposed by ISOTIS.

ISOTIS team in the 2018 conference of EARLI – SIG5

ISOTIS researchers participated in the 2018 conference of the Special Interest Group on “Learning and Development in Early Childhood” (SIG 5) of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instructions (EARLI). The theme of the conference was "ECEC 2.0: Future Challenges for Early Childhood Education and Care". Researchers were invited to discuss effects of recent societal, educational and technological changes on early childhood education and care, namely: increasing emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); education in general and the use of technology in particular; increasing recognition of the importance of social-emotional and motivational competency aspects for children’s educational pathways.

ISOTIS researchers addressed the following themes:

Symposium: Tackling educational inequalities through promising and evidence-based interventions around Europe
Chairperson: Paul Leseman (ISOTIS coordinator)
Organisers: Joana Cadima (ISOTIS researcher) and Paul Leseman
Discussant: Tove Mogstad Slinde, Ministry of Education and Research Norway, Norway

- Parent- and Family-Support Interventions: An Inventory of Promising programs in 7 European countries
by Gil Nata, Maria Evangelou, Joana Cadima, Yvonne Anders
Read abstract - 16

- An inventory of curriculum, pedagogy, and social climate interventions in 8 European countries
by Cecília Aguiar, Carla Silva, Rita Guerra, Giulia Pastori
Read abstract - page 17

- Professional development aimed at cultural/linguistic diversity: inventory in 10 European countries
by Pauline Slot, Bodine Romijn, Olga Wysłowska
Read abstract - page 18


Symposium: Educational partnerships in ECEC in a context of cultural diversity
Chairperson: Martine Broekhuizen (ISOTIS researcher)
Discussant: Tove Mogstad Slinde, Ministry of Education and Research Norway, Norway

- Family-preschool partnerships: mothers with a Turkish and Mahgrebian background in Europe
by Martine Broekhuizen, Ryanne Francot, Paul Leseman
Read abstract - page 72

- Roma mothers’ resources, experiences, and aspirations in the Czech Republic, Greece, and Portugal
by Petrogiannis, Cecília Aguilar, and Jana Obrovská
Read abstract - page 73

- Playgroups for Inclusion: Experimental Impacts on the development, temperament and behavior of children from different ethnic groups
by Joana Dias Alexandre, Clara Barata, Catarina Leitão, Bruno de Sousa, Vanessa Russo
Read abstract - page 74


Symposium: Family Support to Foster Early Childhood Development
Chairperson: Kerstin Schütte, Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN), Germany
Discussant: Joana Cadima (ISOTIS researcher)

- The use and evaluation of family support services in disadvantaged groups across Europe
by Martine Broekhuizen, Katharina Ereky-Stevens, Thomas Moser, and Helga Norheim
Read abstract - page 8

- A meta-analysis on the relationship between time spent in childcare and social-emotional outcomes
by Katrin Wolf, Hannah Ulferts, Yvonne Anders
Read abstract - page 9


Symposium: On working mechanisms of early interventions: Dutch and German perspectives

- Longitudinal effects of different course-types on children`s social-emotional and vocabulary skills
by Franziska Cohen, Juliane Schünke,Yvonne Anders
Read abstract - page 13

Visit the conference web page.

The experience of migrant Arab mothers in Italy

ISOTIS interviewed Arab mothers living in Milan about their parenting experiences. Researcher Alessandra Mussi (University of Milano Bicocca) addressed this work at the ESREA conference ‘Building solidarities for anti-racist adult education’, on June 15. The title of the article presented is "Arab migration and parenting: the experience of Arab migrant women in Italy".

According to the researcher, becoming mother during migration can be a source of insecurity and fear, but can also be a stimulus to face adversity. Adequate support can contribute to the development of educational and resilience skills, potentiating the integration process and, consequently, the well-being of the whole family.

Recommendations for professionals working with Arab mothers include taking into account:
- The recognition of the resources available to mothers and the legitimacy of different parenting methods;
- The recognition of cultural and educational diversity, but also promotion of negotiations and hybridizations;
- The enhancement of narration, dialogue and intercultural meetings as qualities of a relational posture, but also as practices with formative implications.

Read full article

Promising educational practices to tackle inequalities/Práticas educativas promissoras para combater desigualdades

ISOTIS developed an inventory of promising curriculum, pedagogy, and social climate interventions tackling inequalities in centre-based early childhood education settings and primary schools. The interventions selected aim to promote educational equality and
belongingness for immigrant, Roma, and low-income children. The countries included are the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Portugal.

A total of 78 interventions were selected for review and analyses. Findings indicate that while 79% of the interventions provided some type of language support, only 32% considered children’s heritage language, even though 72% of the interventions targeted either immigrant, Roma, or mixed groups of children.

These  findings suggest the need to provide language supports to immigrant-background students concurrently to teaching the age-appropriate curriculum. These findings also highlights the importance of supporting and value the development of the language and cultural heritage of immigrant and ethnic minority students. Read more about the inventory

On May 11, our colleague Cecília Aguiar (ISCTE-IUL) presented findings from this inventory during the conference “Um mundo em mudança: Desafios para a Psicologia Comunitária e da Saúde”, at the University Institute of Lisbon. Promising interventions in Portugal were addressed. See the presentation (in Portuguese)


O ISOTIS desenvolveu um inventário de intervenções promissoras a nível do currículo, pedagogia e clima social para combater desigualdades em centros de educação pré-escolar e escolas do primeiro ciclo do ensino básico. As intervenções selecionadas visam promover a igualdade educacional e o sentimento de pertença em crianças imigrantes, de comunidades ciganas e de famílias em situação económica mais vulnerável. Os países incluídos são a República Checa, a Inglaterra, a Alemanha, a Grécia, a Itália, a Holanda, a Polónia e Portugal.

Setenta e oito intervenções foram selecionadas para revisão e análise. Os resultados indicam que, enquanto 79% das intervenções forneceram algum tipo de apoio linguístico, apenas 32% consideraram a língua de origem das crianças, embora 72% das intervenções tenham como alvo crianças imigrantes, de comunidades ciganas ou grupos mistos de crianças.

Estes resultados sugerem a necessidade de fornecer apoio linguístico a alunos com background de imigração, concomitantemente com o ensino do currículo adequado à idade. Estes resultados também destacam a importância de apoiar e valorizar o desenvolvimento da língua de origem e a herança cultural de estudantes imigrantes e de minorias étnicas. Leia mais sobre o inventário

No dia 11 de Maio, a nossa colega Cecília Aguiar (ISCTE-IUL) apresentou os resultados deste inventário durante a conferência “Os mundos de vida, os Desafios para a Psicologia Comunitária e da Saúde”, no ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa. Intervenções promissoras em Portugal foram abordadas. Veja a apresentação em Português

ISOTIS presentato nella newsletter del progetto Mamme a Scuola

We are happy to see ISOTIS presented in the newsletter of the Mamme a Scuola project, in Italy. This is a project within neighborhood schools that involves immigrant women, their children and the scholastic realities that welcome them.

Check out the newsletters here:
- April
- February

Visit the project webpage

IT: ISOTIS è presentato nella newsletter del progetto Mamme a Scuola, in Italia. Mamme a Scuola è un progetto all'interno di scuole di quartiere che coinvolge le donne immigrate, i loro figli e le realtà scolastiche che li accolgono.

Le newsletter sono disponibili qui:
- Aprile
- Febbraio

Visita la pagina web del progetto

Presentation on the experiences of parents with Turkish immigrant background

ISOTIS researcher Hande Erdem (Freie Universität Berlin) presented part of her PhD project "Intersection of Ethno-cultural and Class based Identities in Educational Contexts: The Case of Turkish Immigrant Background Parents in Germany" at the Migration Conference, hosted by the University of Lisbon, on June 26. Visit the conference website

This study is being developed by Hande Erdem, together with ISOTIS researcher Yvonne Anders (Freie Universität Berlin), and Prof. Dr. Özen Odag.

The study focuses on the views and experiences shared by parents with a Turkish background, that were interviewed in Berlin, in the scope of the ISOTIS project. The parents were asked about their children’s education and upbringing: experiences with educational systems and support services, hopes and wishes for their children, resources and support needs.

More information on the views and experiences shared by the parents interviewed by the ISOTIS team will be available soon. Stay tuned!

Educational Inequality Conference held at the University of Amsterdam

ISOTIS researchers Herman van de Werfhorst and Jesper Rözer, both from the University of Amsterdam, integrated the team that organized the Educational Inequality Conference, held on 5-6th July. The team aimed to integrate studies that focus on mechanisms that explain how inequalities are created (e.g. in families, or in schools), and studies that focus on emergence or effects of institutional arrangements in educational systems.

This conference included presentations authored by ISOTIS researchers Herman van de Werfhorst, Jesper Röze, Jan Skopek, Thomas Van Huizen, Giampiero Passaretta, Nigel Kragten, and Andrea Forster, namely:

- School tracking regimes, student sorting, and social inequalities. A comparative analysis of Germany, Italy and the Netherlands
Moris Triventi (University of Trento), Jan Skopek (Trinity College Dublin) & Thomas Van Huizen (Utrecht University)

- Female advantage and disadvantage: Institutional and cultural explanations for vertical and horizontal gender segregation in education.
Lotte Scheeren & Herman van de Werfhorst (University of Amsterdam)

- Contextual inequality, education-based meritocracy and personal legitimation of stratification
Anatolia Batruch & Herman van de Werfhorst (University of Amsterdam)

- Inequalities in Educational Opportunities by Socioeconomic and Migration Background: A Comparative Assessment
Jesper Rözer, Herman van de Werfhorst & Nigel Kragten (University of Amsterdam)

- To what extent are social inequalities in educational achievement explained by preschool inequalities? A comparative analysis of the UK, Germany and the Netherlands
Giampiero Passaretta (Trinity College Dublin), Jan Skopek (Trinity College Dublin), Thomas van Huizen (Utrecht University)

- Tracking, Student Expectations and Higher Education Enrollment – A comparison between the US and Germany
Andrea Forster (University of Amsterdam), Anna Katyn Chmielewski (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto) & Herman van de Werfhorst (University of Amsterdam)

Visit the conference page

Portugal: Process quality in preschool classrooms serving children at-risk and with disabilities

What does quality ECEC look like for centres serving children at-risk of poverty, social exclusion and children with disabilities?

ISOTIS and CARE researchers Joana Cadima, Cecília Aguiar and Clara Barata examined the complex interplay of structural features and interactions between staff and children in Portuguese centres serving these populations. The title of the paper is: Process quality in Portuguese preschool classrooms serving children at-risk of poverty and social exclusion and children with disabilities.

The paper is available for free download for 50 days after publication. Check it here:

PT: Como é a qualidade dos serviçoes para a primeira infância nos centros que atendem crianças em situação de risco de pobreza, exclusão social e crianças com deficiência?

As investigadoras do ISOTIS e do CARE Joana Cadima, Cecília Aguiar e Clara Barata examinaram as complexas ligações entre caraterísticas estruturais e interações entre o staff e as crianças nos centros portugueses que servem estas populações. O título do artigo é: Qualidade do processo em salas de aula pré-escolares portuguesas que atendem crianças em situação de risco de pobreza e exclusão social e crianças com deficiência.

O artigo está disponível para download gratuito por 50 dias após a publicação. Encontre-o aqui:

Online course – The Best Start in Life: Early Childhood Development for Sustainable Development

We are happy to share the launching of the free online course "The Best Start in Life: Early Childhood Development for Sustainable Development", from the SDG Academy. The course starts on September 24, 2018, and has a length of 8 weeks.

The course will address questions such as: What does a successful early childhood care program look like? How has a child’s brain developed at the age of 3? How does nutrition impact the future well-being of a child into adulthood? Topics will include:
• How neurological makeup affects children’s development;
• The intersection of childcare, education and other programming with policies at the national level and beyond;
• How factors such as forced migration impact a child’s future.

Instructors: Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Jack P. Shonkoff, Aisha Yousafzai, and Catherine Tamis-LeMonda.

This year all course video lectures have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and Hindi to reach a wider audience.

Enroll here:

Shaping environments for motor development – International conference

The Utrecht University, the Netherlands, will host the international conference: "Shaping environments for motor development", on September 10-11. The following themes will be addressed:

Keynote by Osnat Atun-Einy | Ora Oudgenoeg-Paz | Saskia van Schaik

Keynote by Catherine Tamis-Lemonda

Keynote by Charles Super

Anneloes van Baar | Imke van Maren-Suir | Marike Boonzaaijer

Marian Jongmans | Mijna Hadders-Algra

Find out the link to register here:

Urban spaces to support parents – New study by ISSA

The environments in which children and embedded can influence to a great extent their access to services, and the quality of these services.

A comparative study of "Urban Spaces to Support Parents" was developed by ISOTIS partner International Step by Step Association (ISSA). The main goal was to identify social facilities that have the potential to improve the quality of life for children between 0-4 years old . The study analyzes programs from Australia, Belgium, Slovenia, the UK and the USA. The research aimed to learn more about: diversity of the services provided; type of workforce required; curriculum of the programs; flexibility in terms of opening hours; funding schemes and costs.

Read the new about this study
Read the report

Do children benefit from universal Early Childhood Education and Care?

A new study by ISOTIS researcher Thomas van Huizen (Utrecht University) and colleague Janneke Plantenga examines the effects of universal Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) on child development and children's later life outcomes.

The researchers analysed the findings from 30 studies conducted between 2005 and 2017. They found that:
- Age of enrollment is not a major factor in explaining the impact. Some evidence indicates that more intensive programs produce more favorable outcomes.
- Program quality matters critically: high quality arrangements consistently generate positive child outcomes.
- Publicly provided programs produce more favorable effects than privately provided (and mixed) programs.
- The evidence does not indicate that ECEC effects are fading out in the long run.
- The gains of ECEC are concentrated within children from lower socioeconomic families.

The title of the article is "Do Children Benefit from Universal Early Childhood Education and Care? A Meta-Analysis of Evidence from Natural Experiments", and it is published in the journal Economics of Education Review.

Find the access to the article here:

van Huizen, T.M. & Plantenga, J. (2018). Do Children Benefit from Universal Early Childhood Education and Care? A Meta-Analysis of Evidence from Natural ExperimentsEconomics of Education Review, forthcoming.

Presentation on the contribute of partnerships for the development of projects in the field of inclusive education

ISOTIS researchers Joana Guerra and Catarina Leitão (University of Coimbra) presented "The contribute of partnerships for the conceptualization and execution of community intervention projects in the field of inclusive education. Examples in the scope of the Escolhas program in Portugal", at the 2nd Congresso Internacional de Redes Sociais, on June 7.

The goal of this communication was to present the results of a case study about interagency working developed in a intervention project carried out in a Roma community. To present examples of good practice, identifying success factors and obstacles in achieving collaborative work among agencies with a responsibility to solve wicked problems, such as access to education, can be a measure to combat early inequalities.

Escolhas is a national government program, promoted by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and integrated in the High Commission for Migration (ACM, IP), whose mission is to promote the social inclusion of children and young people from vulnerable socioeconomical contexts. The partnership work is considered one of the pillars in this program. The consortia created for each project enable the idea that it is on the local scale that problems can best be solved. The local partnerships seek complementarity, the articulation of resources and co-responsibility for initiatives, in order to promote the sustainability of actions.

The conclusions of the study by our colleagues point out the success factors and constraints of partnership work for public and private sector professionals and organizations. They also highlight advantages of this organizational model as a way to guarantee adequate social responses and services to the needs of children, young people and their families, as well as to the wider community.

PT: As investigadoras do ISOTIS Joana Guerra e Catarina Leitão (Universidade de Coimbra) apresentaram a comunicação "O contributo das parcerias na concetualização e execução dos projetos de intervenção comunitária no domínio da educação inclusiva. Exemplos no âmbito do programa Escolhas em Portugal", no 2º Congresso Internacional de Redes Sociais, no dia 7 de junho.

O objetivo desta comunicação foi apresentar os resultados de um estudo de caso sobre o trabalho de parceria desenvolvido num projeto de intervenção comunitária realizado numa comunidade cigana. Apresentar exemplos de boas práticas, identificando os fatores de sucesso e os obstáculos na concretização do trabalho de colaboração entre agências com responsabilidade na resolução de problemas sociais complexos, como por exemplo o acesso à educação, pode constituir uma medida de combate às desigualdades precoces.

O Escolhas é um programa governamental de âmbito nacional, promovido pela Presidência do Conselho de Ministros e integrado no Alto Comissariado para as Migrações – ACM, IP, cuja missão é promover a inclusão social de crianças e jovens de contextos socioeconómicos vulneráveis. O trabalho de parceria é considerado um dos pilares do Programa Escolhas. Os consórcios criados para cada projeto viabilizam a ideia de que é na escala local que os problemas melhor poderão ser resolvidos. As parcerias locais procuram a complementaridade, a articulação de recursos e a corresponsabilização pelas iniciativas, de forma a promover a sustentabilidade das ações.

As conclusões do estudo indicam fatores de sucesso e constrangimentos do trabalho de parceria para os profissionais e organizações do setor público e privado. As conclusões também realçam as vantagens deste modelo organizacional como forma de garantir respostas e serviços sociais adequados às necessidades das crianças, jovens e suas famílias, bem como para a comunidade em geral.

Find out more about Escolhas  / Saiba mais sobre o Programa Escolhas:

The ISOTIS team discussed the development of the Virtual Learning Environment

The ISOTIS team met on June 26-27th, in the University of Milano-Bicocca, to discuss the development of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) proposed in the scope of the project. The aim of the VLE is to develop an interactive e-learning environment that can be used by children, parents, teachers and other professionals to support multilingualism, enhance the parent-school partnerships and promote inclusiveness in the classroom.

Our team discussed the main VLE functionalities, structure and users’ profiles and journeys. Main functions will be to provide resources, to facilitate communication and exchange through a social media structure, and to provide a collaborative space of work for professionals, parents, and children. The team focused on how to guarantee the most user-friendly interface for professionals, while also encouraging the creation of communities.

Our colleagues presented possible activities to be included in the VLE. Our goal is to select activities that strengthen community bonds, enhance communication and collaboration, and mobilize and value families’ and professionals’ resources.

How digital technology is used by young children today?

"Young Children (0-8) and digital technology - A qualitative study across Europe" is a recent report by the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission’s in-house science service. It presents the results of a qualitative study made over seventeen countries exploring how children between 0-8 years old engage with digital technologies, how far parents mediate this engagement and their awareness on the risks-opportunities balance.

According to the report:
- Young children learn digital skills by observing and mirroring adults' and older children's behaviors. Yet, young children lack of agency and of clear representation of tools they use daily (e.g. Internet, Wi-Fi, social networks).
- Young children diversify their digital skills and are more aware of risks if their school integrates digital technology meaningfully and develop digital literacy. Parents tend to support more their children’s digital learning opportunities if schools integrate digital technology in their homework requests.

New literature review on structural characteristics and process quality in ECEC

"Structural characteristics and process quality in early childhood education and care: A literature review" is the title of a OECD Education Working Paper, authored by ISOTIS researcher Pauline Slot (Utrecht University).

According to the abstract:

"This literature review investigated relations between structural characteristics and process quality in centre and family daycare provisions for children from birth to age 5. Structural characteristics were examined at system, organisational, classroom, and staff levels. The strongest evidence concerned the positive relations between staff’ pre-service and professional development and process quality. Smaller group sizes and child-staff ratios were also generally positively related to process quality. At the system level, quality rating and improvement systems appeared to be associated with higher process quality, although most systems lacked sensitivity in differentiating between fine-grained levels of quality. Evidence on relations at the organisational level was scarce. Furthermore, there was evidence of a complex interaction of structural features at different levels that jointly predicted process quality, but more research is warranted. Overall, most studies were focused on centre-based provisions for children aged 3 to 5, whereas less evidence was available for provisions for children aged 0 to 2 and family daycare."

Find the paper here:

Thank you to all our interviewers

We interviewed around 3700 parents across Europe! We have been asking parents with a Turkish, Moroccan, Romani or lower-SES native background about their children education and upbringing. We have received positive reactions from our informants. This is possible thanks to the great work conducted by the teams of interviewers in the participating countries: Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Portugal.

TOY for Inclusion toolkit

How to create inclusive play spaces?

The "TOY for Inclusion toolkit" provides information to enable trainers and practitioners to set-up and run play spaces for children, families and communities. It pays attention to social integration, intercultural and intergenerational dialogue, and social inclusion in the context of Early Childhood Education and Care. ISOTIS researcher Stanislav Daniel (ISSA) is one of the authors of this toolkit.

Find the "TOY for Inclusion toolkit" here:

Newsletter agora disponível em Português (Newsletter now available in Portuguese)

A última Newsletter do ISOTIS encontra-se agora disponível em português. Descubra-a aqui:

Nesta Newsletter verá um resumo das atividades e publicações desenvolvidas pela nossa equipa durante os primeiros meses de 2018. Conheça o nosso estudo sobre oportunidades educacionais atendendo ao contexto económico e ao background migrante. Descubra os nossos inventários sobre abordagens potencialmente eficazes para combater as desigualdades e aumentar a inclusão na educação e na sociedade. Nestes inventários encontrará recomendações úteis para a prática e para o desenvolvimento de programas e políticas.

Votos de uma boa leitura! 

Yeni video: Anket çalışması (Türkçe)

Ayça Alaylı (Utrecht Üniversitesi) ailelerin çocuk yetiştirme tecrübeleri ve çocuklarının eğitim hayatları hakkındaki anne babalara yönelik olarak yapılan anket çalışmasının amaçlarını anlatıyor. Ankette yer alan başlıca konular, anne-babaların eğitim sistemi ve destek servisleri ile olan tecrübelerini, çocukları için dilek ve temennilerini ve kaynak ve destek ihtiyaçlarını kapsıyor.

ENG: Ayça Alayli (Utrecht University) presents, in Turkish, the goals of the interviews aimed at parents on their experiences related to children’s education and upbringing. Topics that are covered include parent’s experiences with the educational system and support services, hopes and wishes for their children, and their resources and support needs.

New ISOTIS publication: Promising practices in family support programs

ISOTIS releases the "Inventory and analysis of promising and evidence-based parent- and family focused support programs", edited by Joana Cadima, Gil Nata, Maria Evangelou and Yvonne Anders. It provides social context indicators on family support for the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Portugal. The country profiles focus on child and family services, country policies on equality issues, monitoring, and language support. 

According to the authors, recommendations for potentially effective interventions include:

"Programmes have to be adapted to the country-specific contextual needs."

“Services/programmes need flexible staff to address parents’ needs while keeping up standardization; this is particularly the case when dealing with families and parents who do not speak the same language of the programmes’ staff, or when dealing with disenfranchised groups who may need time and support to trust institutions.

Multicultural beliefs, as opposed to egalitarian and assimilative beliefs, seem to be key prerequisites to develop and carry out high quality programmes that meet the needs of multicultural groups. Beliefs are relatively stable but develop over time, so professional development programmes that foster multicultural beliefs need to be implemented carefully, and sensitivity for multiculturalism needs to be transferred to all levels of service/programme development and implementation.

Only few services/programmes consider the first languages of immigrants or their promotion in their programmes and staff development. However, this aspect should be revisited to address this important issue, because it may be an important factor, not only for outreach but also for the compliance and trust of participants in services/programmes.

ICT-tools may have great potential to foster particularly outreach and compliance of participants and provide new ways for networking, building communities of trust and share ideas to overcome challenges at local, regional, national or even international level. ICT-tools may be particularly useful for integrating the first languages of immigrants within programmes.”

“(…) the service/programme needs to be monitored and evaluated against its aims, continuously. Thus, continuous long-term implementation checks need to be planned, and possibilities to reflect and adapt contents and delivery modes of the programme need to be enabled. There may be differential adaptations necessary regarding dissimilar target groups and the aims and core areas of the programmes may also differ between target groups after a careful assessment of the specific and individual needs of different target and minority groups.”

Read executive summary

Download full report

Share your comments on this publication on FacebookLinkedIn or Twitter. Your views are important to us. 

Article: Effects of home and preschool environments on language development

"Differential effects of home and preschool learning environments on early language development" is an article by  ISOTIS researcher Yvonne Anders (Free University of Berlin) and colleagues, published in the British Educational Research Journal.

The study focuses on the effects of both home and preschool learning environments on children's grammatical and vocabulary development. It is based on data from a German early childhood education and care governmental initiative.

Results indicated that the quality of the home learning environment predicted development in grammatical skills at age 4, but not in receptive vocabulary. The effects of preschool process quality showed similar relative impacts on both grammatical skills and receptive vocabulary. Results also indicated accumulated advantages of preschool quality for children from medium‐ and high‐quality home learning environments in their vocabulary development.

Link to the article:



ISOTIS researchers from the Freie Universität Berlin at the GEBF conference (GEBF-Tagung 2018)

ISOTIS researchers from the Free University of Berlin conducted presentations at the 6th annual conference of the Association of Empirical Educational Research (GEBF), in Basel, on February 15-16th. Read the abstracts (in German).

Yvonne Anders and colleagues focused on different perspectives of educational professionals on language development and related pedagogy (p.236). Theresia Hummel and Yvonne Anders addressed the knowledge of early childhood education professionals concerning the cooperation with children’s families (p. 238). Franziska Cohen, Yvonne Anders and colleague discussed the effects of changes in the care-taking environment on 5 years old children’s socio-emotional competences (p. 509).

DE: GEBF-Tagung 2018, in Basel

Abstractband der Haupttagung und der Nachwuchstagung:

[seite 236]. Dimensionalität sprachpädagogischer Überzeugungen von frühpädagogischen. - Fachkräften, Nadine Wieduwilt, Simone Lehrl, Yvonne Anders

[seite 238]. Welches Wissen haben Fachberatungen im Kompetenzbereich Zusammenarbeit mit Familien? - Theresia Hummel, Yvonne Anders

[seite 509]. Der Einfluss mehrfacher Betreuungswechsel auf die sozial-emotionalen Fähigkeiten von Kindern im Alter von 5 Jahren. - Franziska Cohen, Yvonne Anders, Eric Vogel

New ISOTIS publication: Good practice in interagency working with children and their families

ISOTIS releases a new publication on inter-agency working with young children and their families, by Jacqueline Barnes and colleagues. The title of this publication is: Comprehensive review of the literature on inter-agency working with young children, incorporating findings from case studies of good practice in interagency working with young children and their families within Europe. It explores different models of inter-agency work, evidence of impact, facilitators and challenges, and the implications for good practice. It illustrates successful inter-agency working with culturally and linguistically diverse families, including lower-SES, immigrant, and Romani families, in Belgium, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, and the UK.

According to the publication, the development of inter-agency work would benefit from addressing the following suggestions:
"- Ensure political will and commitment, at multiple levels – top down to facilitate funding and bottom up to facilitate the relevance of services;
- With political will, there is more likelihood of sustained funding;
- Develop a programme model that provides a system of strong governance, leadership and management;
- Work from the outset to create a shared purpose and culture between the relevant agencies, with jointly agreed goals;
- To facilitate this process, provide opportunities for agencies/service to come together to discuss the concepts related to integrated services, focusing on not only benefits for each agency but also potential difficulties;
- Develop a management model with clearly defined structures and a shared protocol, and revisit it regularly;
- Allow for frequent and effective communication and meetings between all agencies to address any issues, both at the start of a programme but also as an on-going aspect of the management model;
- Allow opportunities for good communication between leadership and staff to clarify roles and responsibilities;
- Providing joint training between staff from different services/agencies to foster understanding and reduce any mistrust or rivalry; - Provide sufficient funding (allowing for staff time away from other duties) for regular staff supervision and discussion to reduce stress associated with change and to promote professionalism;
- Consider co-location of services, especially close to or attached to an educational establishment, while strengthening communication with services that cannot be co-located;
- Address data protection issues so that all aspects of service delivery and outcomes can be documented through a common IT system, enabling the best use of data to document need and impact of services;
- Most importantly, using on-going evaluation with both established questionnaires and more open-ended methods (e.g., focus groups) to monitor implementation, staff satisfaction, and child/family outcomes;
- If possible involve a university or other research partner so that evidence can be set in the context of strong research designs;
- Reviewing progress regularly and amending the service accordingly based on the results of reflective practice, monitoring and evaluation;
- Initiate studies that might test the longer-term outcomes for clients of inter-agency working."

Knowledge of these facilitators will be important when putting together policies to develop inter-agency provision in other contexts.

Read executive summary
Download full report

New ISOTIS Newsletter released

We are happy to present the 4th ISOTIS Newsletter!

We invite you to read about our new publications, meetings, and participation in events. Check out our study on educational opportunities by socioeconomic and migration background, and our inventories on potentially effective approaches to tackle inequalities and to increase inclusiveness in education and society. These can be useful for practice, programs and policy making.

Give us your feedback by commenting on FacebookLinkedIn or Twitter. Your views are important to us.

Education Select Committee for newly launched Life Chances Inquiry

Professor Ted Melhuish (Professor of Human Development) gave oral evidence to the Education Committee on Tuesday 12 June to support a new inquiry - Life Chances Inquiry - examining the impact that early years education and social policy have on determining children’s life chances.

The session, which was the first in the inquiry, focused on early years education provision, support for parents and families and the role of children’s centres in promoting social justice. Fellow panel witnesses included Sir Kevan Collins (Chief Executive, Education Endowment Foundation), Laura McFarlane (Director of the LEAP Programme, National Children’s Bureau) and Steven McIntosh (Director of UK Poverty Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns, Save the Children).

Professor Melhuish’s work uses theoretically driven research to address applied issues and policy questions to produce improvements in development and well-being. Current research projects involve evaluating interventions such as early childhood education and care (ECEC), parental support, early intervention strategies. He is the director of the Study of Early Education and Development and an advisor to OECD, WHO, and the European Commission on early years education policy.

The inquiry launched on 4 May 2018 will focus on early years educational settings but will also look at Government policy and make recommendations on how to improve social justice, while considering the role of services other than education, including health services and those provided by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Watch the meeting in full at the Parliament TV

Discover more about the Life Chances Inquiry

ISOTIS Workshop: Analyzing information from interviews with mothers

The workshop “ISOTIS WP2 Qualitative Study: coding and analytical strategies: mothers from low income families without immigrant background” took place at the Department of Education of University of Oxford (OU), on 23th-25th May 2018. The workshop was hosted by the OU ISOTIS team and the Department of Education of OU.

Researchers from Poland, Portugal and England took part in the discussion on coding of transcripts of the interviews aimed at mothers on their children education, including topics such as: experiences with the educational system and support services, hopes and wishes for their children, and their resources and support needs. Researchers also discussed evolving themes for narrative analysis, analysis of visual information and analytical strategies for comparative analysis.
The workshop was led by Dr. Lyudmila Nurse, coordinator of the study that involves in-depth interviews with mothers about the topics mentioned (qualitative study). The OU participants were Ted Melhuish, Jaqueline Barnes, and Eszter Saghy. Polish team was represented by Paulina Marchlik and Elżbieta Czerska-Szczepaniak (University of Warsaw), and Katarzyna Gajek (University of Łodz). The Portuguese team was represented by Cecilia Aguiar, Inês Alves Ferreira and Carla Sofia Silva (ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon). Martine Broekhuizen (University of Utrecht) and Kateřina Sidiropulu-Janků (Masaryk University) joined the discussion on the third day of the workshop to discuss strategies for merging coding trees across target groups of mothers and preparation for the forthcoming workshops. These will focus on mothers from Romani minority group and of immigrant background, and will take place on 2-4 July in Brno and 16-18 August in Utrecht, respectively.

ISOTIS team meeting: The study of educational inequalities during the life course

On May 31st, the ISOTIS team addressing patterns and mechanisms regarding inequalities in educational careers met in Dublin. During this interdisciplinary meeting, our colleagues discussed which measurement and method to use to study how inequalities develop during the life course. They also discussed which policies could potentially tackle (the growing) inequalities.

This meeting occurred in the beautiful Trinity College. The group picture shows the team visiting the library. From left to right, the members are: Henrik Daae Zachrisson (University of Oslo), Thomas van Huizen (Utrecht University), Giampiero Passaretta (Trinity college), Jan Skopek (Trinity college) and Jesper Rözer (University of Amsterdam).

Our colleague Pauline Slot (Utrecht University), who is addressing professional development in the scope of the project, also visited the meeting.






Impact of social origin on educational achievement in Germany

"The social stratification of skills from infancy to adolescence – Evidence from an accelerated longitudinal design" is the title of the paper by ISOTIS researchers Giampiero Passaretta and Jan Skopek (Trinity College Dublin), presented at the II Convegno SISEC (Società Italiana di Sociologia Economica), in Milano, on January 26th.

According to the abstract:
“This paper examines the impact of social origin on educational achievement in Germany. Contrary to previous research, we reconstruct how achievement gaps in cognitive skills are unfolding from early childhood (7 months) to adolescence (age 16). Our theoretical background discusses two groups of counteracting mechanisms that favour social inequality in educational achievement to magnify or diminish as children age and navigate through school. Based on these theories, we expect social inequalities to magnify in the context of the highly stratifying German education system. Adopting an accelerated longitudinal design, our investigation exploits very recent multi-cohort test data collected by the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS). Drawing upon approximately 50 tests done across the age span of 7 months to 16 years we are in the position to study the time evolution of social gaps in skills in unprecedented detail. We inspected composite measures of skills as well as domain-specific measures such as reading and math. Our findings point to striking a gap in skills between children from higher and lower educated parents which emerges long before school. Contrary to our expectations, these preschool gaps in relative terms remain astoundingly persistent throughout subsequent school career. By providing the most recent and comprehensive assessment of skill gaps in the literature, our study contributes adds to an emerging longitudinal research on skill gaps aiming to understand when and how social differences in skill arise in children.”

Read more about the conference.