ISOTIS is a collaborative project funded by the European Union, which includes 17 partners and 11 countries. The project started January 2017, and will continue until December 2019. ISOTIS aims to contribute to effective policy and practice development at different system levels in order to effectively combat early arising and persisting educational inequalities.

ISOTIS NEWSLETTER – SEPTEMBER 2017

---

We are happy to share the second Newsletter of the ISOTIS project!

Read more about the progress made by the ISOTIS team over the past months and watch our recently released videos. 

---

PARENT INTERVIEW STUDY

The ISOTIS team is planning to interview parents on their experiences related to children’s education and upbringing (experiences with educational systems and support services, hopes and wishes for their children, resources and support needs). Interviews will be aimed at parents with a Turkish, North-African, Roma or native lower socio-economic background, who have children aged 3-6 years or 9-12 years. The study wants to explore the strengths and potential of families who may be in a disadvantaged situation due to their minority status, cultural background and/or experience of financial hardship. The families’ views will inform the project results. The goal of the ISOTIS team is for these results to be used by local, national and European stakeholders to improve educational systems and support services in Europe.

On June 21st, the ISOTIS team met in Leiden, the Netherlands, to share input on this study. Researchers Martine Broekhuizen, Thomas Moser, Katharina Ereky-Stevens, and Jacqueline Barnes presented  topics about the study implementation plan. The team discussed the selection and formulation of the most relevant questions to ask parents (e.g., which are the support needs perceived by them), and the strategies to recruit families (e.g., through schools).

At this meeting, ISOTIS coordinator Paul Leseman specified the procedures for managing and storing the information collected during the interviews, as well as during the other studies proposed in the scope of the project, in order to ensure the ethical principles guiding research (e.g. confidentiality of the information provided by the participants).

On September 7-8th, the core team of ISOTIS researchers involved in the interview study participated in a meeting held in Oxford, organized by Martine Broekhuizen, Thomas Moser, Katharina Ereky-Stevens, Edward Melhuish and Jacqueline Barnes. The themes discussed at the meeting included the selection of participants and foreseeable challenges, the preparation of the data collection manual and decisions on the interview guide. 

The interviews will be conducted from the end of October 2017 to March 2018, in 10 European countries: Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Portugal. The ISOTIS team would like to thank all the families willing to participate and all the stakeholders contributing to the development of this study.

Watch ISOTIS researcher Martine Broekhuizen (Utrecht University, the Netherlands) presenting the goals of the parent interview study.

Watch video on the ISOTIS website

---

ISOTIS MEETING ON VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS IN INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION

ISOTIS researchers from Italy, England, and the Netherlands, who are addressing inclusive curricula in the classroom, family support and professional development in the scope of the project, met in Utrecht, on May 11-12th, to discuss the first ideas for the development of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The aim of the VLE is to develop an interactive e-learning environment that can be used by parents, teachers and other professionals to support multilingualism, enhance the parent-school partnerships and promote inclusiveness in the classroom. The overarching goal of this task is to design a prototype of a VLE, which can be used as a model to develop, adapt and implement a VLE in a local context according to the specific needs and interests of the participants.

The next team meeting on VLE will be held in Brno, Czech Republic, on October 26-27th, 2017.

Watch ISOTIS researcher Giulia Pastori (University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy) addressing the development of the proposed Virtual Learning Environment, and its use in supporting multilingualism.

Watch video on the ISOTIS website (also available in Italian language).

---

ISOTIS EXPERT MEETING

The ISOTIS team organized an expert meeting on June 22nd-23rd, hosted by the partner institution International Step by Step Association (ISSA), which took place at the Child Rights Home, in Leiden, the Netherlands. Experts from different institutions and countries came to debate themes of relevance to the ISOTIS project.

Our team had the privilege of receiving Angela Anning, Paulo André, Mehmet Alpbek, Sanja Brajković, Peter Dixon, Anke van Keulen, Salete Lemos, Anna-Louise van der Merwe, Cristina Milagre, Iris Roose, Sally Smith, Magdalena Szeniawska, Magdalena Škoro, Zorica Trikić, and Margy Whalley. Meet the experts.

The themes and the topics highlighted by the invited experts included the following.

Profiling of the target groups. The debate had a special focus on the variety of needs and provision of services in multilingual environments. The experts presented projects aimed to address the challenges in this scope through training of parents, employing new technologies and developing skills of practitioners.

Outreach and participation. Experts emphasized the relevance of the proximity between the school and the children’s home, the implementation of home based learning programs, and the investment on bottom up activities (e.g. empowerment of local projects), in addition to top-down policy level changes.

Professionalism of the workforce. The importance of team-based learning was highlighted. It may include reflection and discussion on everyday practice, and professional learning communities.

Evaluation and outcomes of programmes. Participants emphasized the relevance of considering high-quality research methods, as well as the flexible and cooperative nature of successful interventions/services supporting culturally and linguistically diverse families.

Program implementation and inter-agency work. The analysis of key factors for success and the focus on relationships between professionals, in order to facilitate joint working, were addressed. 

During this meeting, the ISOTIS team gathered valuable input for the development of the project. Read more.

---

MEETINGS WITH STAKEHOLDERS

• On April 5th, ISOTIS researcher Konstantinos Petrogiannis, from Hellenic Open University, Greece, presented the project goals, tasks and timeline at the meeting "Education and Interculturality: The case of Roma". Meet the organizers.

On the following months, with the goal of presenting ISOTIS and asking for kind assistance and cooperation during the implementation of the project, the researcher Konstantinos Petrogiannis met with: the Principals and School Counselors of the Directorate of Primary Education of the district of Evia and of the district of West Attica; the Director of the Antirropon NGO; the Director of the Pilot Support Office of Roma and Disadvantaged Groups; and the Special Secretary of Social Inclusion of Roma and Disadvantaged Groups.

• On May 12th, the ISOTIS team from Masaryk University, Czech Republic, organized a meeting with experts on education and socially disadvantaged children, and on work with socially excluded families. During the meeting, ISOTIS researcher Jana Obrovská carried out a presentation on this topic. Experts discussed experiences, methods and good practice in working with families and schools. Read more about the event.

• ISOTIS researcher Lenka Slepičková, also from Masaryk University, presented the project at a meeting with social workers from the Municipal Office for the Social and Legal Protection of Children in Brno (OSPOD), Czech Republic, on May 26th.  During this meeting, the social workers were invited to help with the recruitment of families for participation in the parent interview study. These professionals provided valuable feedback related to the communication activities and field research in disadvantaged areas. See the presentation.

• ISOTIS researcher Thomas Moser, from University College Southeast Norway, met with elements of the National Association of Kindergarten owners (PBL)on July 10th, to share information about the project.

---

SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS AND WORKSHOPS

• On June 29th, ISOTIS researchers Ana Camacho, Cecília Aguiar, Rita Guerra, and Ricardo Borges Rodrigues, from ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal, presented the poster “Projeto ISOTIS: Inclusive Education and Social Support to Tackle Inequalities in Society” at the IV Encontro Nacional de Psicologia Comunitária, held in the same university. See the posterRead the program of the event.

These researchers had previously presented a poster on the same theme at the 2º Congresso de Educação Emocional: De dentro para fora - Como nasce a empatia?”, also held in ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal, on May 5th. Read more about the event

• On May 19th, ISOTIS researcher Jana Obrovská, from Masaryk University, carried out a communication on inclusive education and social support to overcome inequalities in society, presenting the ISOTIS project, at the EDUspace conference, Czech Republic. See the presentationRead more about the event.

---

ISOTIS VIDEOS

Watch the released videos presenting ISOTIS researchers addressing proposals in the scope of the project.

• Edward Melhuish (University of Oxford, England) focuses on the challenges that children from multilingual and diverse cultural backgrounds may face currently in Europe, and on the ISOTIS proposals to address these challenges.

Watch video on the ISOTIS website.

• Karel Pančocha and Jana Obrovská (Masaryk University, Czech Republic) discuss the proposed work with diverse cultural backgrounds, particularly Czech Roma families, in the scope of the project.

Watch video on the ISOTIS website.

• Pauline Slot (Utrecht University, the Netherlands) focuses on the challenges facing professional development in multilingual and diverse cultural backgrounds, and on the ISOTIS proposals to address these challenges.

Watch video on the ISOTIS website.

• Olga Wysłowska (University of Warsaw, Poland) presents the proposals of ISOTIS aimed to address the development of professionals and organizations.

Watch video on the ISOTIS website (also available in Polish language, featuring ISOTIS researcher Małgorzata Karwowska-Struczyk).

---

ISOTIS - RELATED PUBLICATIONS

• Edward Melhuish (ISOTIS researcher), Julian Gardiner and Stephen Morris, from Oxford University, England, are the authors of the reports “Study of early education and development (SEED): Impact study on early education use and child outcomes up to age three”. Read the reports.

---

ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER

If you want to know what is happening in the ISOTIS project, subscribe to our newsletter at the project website:

www.isotis.org

Newsletters will be released at least twice a year. Stay tuned!

Visit us on
www.isotis.org
facebook.com/project.isotis 

Contact us at
isotis@uu.nl 

If you would like to contribute to this newsletter please contact us.

ISOTIS: Giving voice to a diverse and inclusive European society.
Share your experiences! Participate!

---

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 727069.