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DAY ONE: Session 4: Poster session (15.30 - 16.30)
Sabine Wollscheid (presenting) and Are Turmo: Does it matter? Do large reforms of the education system in Norway and Germany reduce social inequalities in academic achievement?

Showing under average scores in academic achievement for students in Germany and Norway compared to the OECD average, and that students’ academic achievement is significantly associated with home background, the ‘PISA shock’ in 2000 has initiated incremental reforms in both countries, reforms which address highly ambitious and potentially conflicting aims: One the one side they should raise the level of academic achievement for all students. On the other side, they should lead to a reduction in the achievement gaps between students, according to their family’s socio-economic status, gender and minority language background.

For Germany, scholars have reported decreasing social differences in academic achievement between students according to home background and gender, while findings reported for Norway are ambiguous depending on the data used.

Drawing on data of the PISA studies 2000 and 2009, the aim of this work is to identify changes in the association between students’ academic achievement and home background for students in Norway and Germany, and to discuss whether and how these changes might be related to the large educational reforms in both countries. In light of the ambiguity of the results in the Norwegian case, a discussion over the strengths and limitations of the PISA studies to evaluate the effect of large educational reforms on student outcomes was held.

Full poster (pdf).

Annemarie Neeleman: On the interplay between educational research, educational policy making, and educational practice: which interventions are carried out in practice, why have these been chosen and how do they relate to educational research and policy?

The interaction between the worlds of educational research, practice and policy is suboptimal when it comes to the shared ambition of improving education with regard to pedagogical, subject related as well as organizational features. Improving this interaction could enhance educational outcomes on both student level as well as that of the educational system. In this study, the reality in educational practice (primary and secondary education) is taken as a starting point: which interventions do professionals in the educational field carry out to improve their education? Why are these specific interventions opted for and with which expectations? Subsequently, it is studied how these interventions relate (if at all) to recent educational research outcomes and educational policy. Are there any perceptible patterns in this interplay from the point of view of educational practice? The outcomes are expected to present new insights for the vibrant public debate on (1) the balance between autonomy and responsibilities of schools, school boards and political authorities, (2) the valorisation and dissemination of educational research outcomes, and (3) improving education as flaws in the ‘triangle’ that  are currently hampering this are likely to become visible. Research into this interplay from the perspective of the educational practice is uncommon in educational research in which oftentimes the perspective of either research(ers) or policy (makers) is taken as a starting point. This research is carried out within the broader ambitions and strategic agenda of the research group Economics of Education of Maastricht University to improve the collaboration between researchers and educational professionals.

Full poster (pdf).

Juliane Hencke and Paula Korsnakova (presenting): IEA’s new Early Childhood Education Study (ECES)

The IEA International Early Childhood Education Study (ECES) is a new comparative research program of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). The purpose of ECES is to explore, describe and analyze early childhood education (ECE) provision and its role in preparing children for the learning and social demands of school and wider society. The study aims in providing meaningful information for countries, states and jurisdictions across the world in relation to how ECE contributes to children's outcomes.

The objectives of the study are to:

  • Explore systematically, document, analyze the worldwide diversity of responses, meeting the challenge of supporting, educating and preparing our youngest citizens for school and wider society;
  • Map the systems, structures and user pathways in place, along with the perceptions of stakeholders about the system, its functioning and impact;
  • Measure the outcomes of ECE in preparing children for school and lifelong learning;
  • Examine the relationships between policy aims, ECE provision, family background and child outcomes;
  • Inform the development of high quality and inclusive ECE policy both nationally and internationally;
  • Provide instrumentation for countries to benchmark their ECE systems in an international context.

The poster presented the study framework describing and explaining a comprehensive assessment of child outcomes, as well as a rich set of questionnaires designed to capture the wider policy contexts and settings for early childhood education; practitioner qualifications, pedagogy, professional development, and job satisfaction; and parental views and expectations.

Full poster (pdf).

Olga Karpenko and Margarita Bershadskaya (presenting): Analysis of the results of the international assessment of the content of university sites and its impact on the university web activity

Of the recognized global university rankings only one - Webometrics Ranking of World Universities - stimulates the development of not only the elite but also of mass higher education, both globally and in each individual country. Broad coverage of universities in this ranking (20 thousand ranged universities, compared with 200-700 universities in other global rankings) opens up the possibility of comprehensive regular analysis of national educational systems. Such analysis is the goal of our research since 2007. Being followers of mass education, we regularly publish the results of the rating, comparing national systems of higher education with regard to the scale factor. Summary of results of 2007-2014 is executed taking into account:

  • the evaluation of national higher education systems not only by the positions of the leading universities, but also for all national universities;
  • the dynamics of growth in online activities of Russian universities, including regional (comparison by federal districts of Russia);
  • studying the peculiarities of the network activity of Russian universities with regard to changes of such indicators as Openness Rank and Excellence Rank.

Regular analysis of the results reveals sometimes unexpected facts, such as the entry into the world arena of new countries, considering the scale factor (India, Mexico, Colombia, the Philippines), unique high positions of Russian universities by the indicators characterizing the openness of information and other.

The study examined the growth of web activity of Russian universities as an example of the impact of evidence-based information on the practical activities of universities.

Full poster (pdf).