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Keynote speaker podcasts

The conference included keynote presentations from several high-profile speakers. Speaking from the perspective of a variety of disciplines within education, these keynotes provided an overview of the development and progress of evidence informed policy and practice in these fields.

Plenary session 1: Evidence use in Germany

Using the example of a project between policy-makers and teachers from over 30 local kindergarten and primary schools from Baden-Württemberg, Marcus Hasselhorn discussed the ways in which these actors worked together to develop, implement, evaluate and reform pre-school education for children at-risk of educational failure


Marcus Hasselhorn

Marcus Hasselhorn is Executive Director of the German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF), a member of the Leibniz-Society, and Head of the Center for Research on Individual Development and Adaptive Education of Children at Risk (IDeA) in Frankfurt, Germany. He holds a PhD in psychology from Heidelberg University and is also professor of psychology in education and human development at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt (since 2007).

He was also Professor for Developmental Psychology at the Technical University of Dresden (1993-1997) and Professor for Educational Psychology and Developmental Psychology at Göttingen University, Germany (1997-2007). He was the President of the German Psychological Society between 2006 and 2008. His current interests are surrounding early education with an emphasis on formative evaluation of programs to enhance children’s school readiness, development of cognitive, motivational and volitional competencies during childhood and old age, learning disabilities, working memory, attention, metacognition, and cognitive training.

Plenary session 2: Relevant information from Evidence use in Germany

In her speech, Stephanie Schaerer outlined specific measures taken by the Federal Ministry to support educational research and create reliable evidence. For example, the Framework Programme which aims to generate reliable scientific information for educational policy and practice whilst building capacity in Germany.


Stephanie Schaerer

Stephanie Schaerer is head of Project Management Organisation of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany.

After finishing her PhD in biology at University of Mainz in 1994, she worked at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen. In 1996 she became project manager of a "special research field" funded by the German Science Foundation at the University Eye Hospital and, in 1998, project manager of the University Eye Hospital in Tübingen.
Since 1999 Stephanie Schaerer has worked at the project management agency (PT) within the German Aerospace Center (DLR). There, she supports project funding by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Since 2008 she has been head of the group/department educational research.

Plenary session 3: Putting research evidence into practice

Education Endowment Foundation Toolkit

Robbie Coleman from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) introduced the Sutton Trust/Education Endowment Foundation Teaching and Learning toolkit. The Toolkit is an independent and accessible summary of educational research which helps teachers and schools identify the most promising and cost-effective ways to support their pupils. It provides guidance for teachers and schools on how to use their resources to improve the attainment of disadvantaged pupils. The Toolkit currently covers 30 topics, each summarised in terms of their average impact on attainment, the strength of the research evidence supporting them and their cost.

European Commission policy on literacy

Raising literacy levels is a key strategic objective for the European Commission. Indeed, one of the benchmarks set for 2020 is to reduce the share of 15-year olds with insufficient abilities in reading, mathematics and science to less than 15%. Daphne De Wit from the European Commission introduced the problem of low literacy levels across Europe and spoke about one of the core approaches to addressing this issue that the European Commission has taken through its ‘High Level Group on Literacy’. 



Daphne de Wit

Daphne De Wit is Policy Officer for School education: literacy within the School education and Comenius Unit at the Directorate-General for Education and Culture, European Commission. From 2008 she worked as a policy officer at the directorate of International affairs. She was responsible for the bilateral relations with Germany, Austria and Switzerland and the coordination of the EU files 'Education and Training 2020' and 'Youth on the Move'.

Within DG EAC she is an expert policy officer for school policy issues and Literacy in specific. She acted as the secretariat to the High Level Group of experts in the field of literacy that concluded its work in September 2012 (, and is now concerned with the follow-up actions of the High Level Group on Literacy and policy development related to Literacy and Basic skills.

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Robbie Coleman

Robbie Coleman is Research and Communications Manager at the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF). The EEF is an independent grant-making charity based in London dedicated to raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils in English primary and secondary schools by challenging educational disadvantage, sharing evidence and finding out what works. Its Teaching and Learning Toolkit, produced in partnership with the Sutton Trust and Durham University, is an independent and accessible summary of educational research which helps teachers and schools identify the most promising and cost-effective ways to support their pupils. The Toolkit is available free online at

Robbie joined the EEF in August 2011. Prior to this he completed an MSc in Comparative Social Policy at the University of Oxford, specialising in education. He has taught politics at a summer school and worked as a researcher at the Higher Education Policy Institute, where he co-authored a report on supply and demand for higher education in the wake of the Browne Report.

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