Objectives

ISOTIS addresses the following objectives:

  • Determine educational inequalities in European countries and changes over time in the patterns of inequality as related to changes in educational institutions and policies ▼

Secondary analyses of existing multi-generational cross-sectional and longitudinal data sets are proposed. The analyses focus on the relations of educational attainment and labour market position with socioeconomic background, migrant and native minority background. The examination of the relations between educational inequalities and characteristics of the national education systems is proposed, focusing on the age of onset of early childhood education, the transition to primary and secondary education, the degree of tracking in secondary education, and several other characteristics.

  • Examine the resources, experiences and perspectives of culturally and linguistically diverse groups in Europe as related to the preschool and primary school system and the local system of support services ▼

A large scale interview study amongst parents is proposed, combined with smaller scale in-depth interviews aimed at parents and children. The studies involve: families with a Turkish background living in England, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway; families with a North-African background living in France, Italy, and the Netherlands; Romani families living in the Czech Republic, Greece and Portugal; and native families with a lower socio-economic background living at the same sites. These studies sample families with children in the 3 to 6- and 9 to12-years age range to capture important phases and transitions in education. The countries represent different national income levels, education systems, welfare regimes and integration policies. The spread of each group over several countries and local contexts within these countries allows for comparative analyses that can reveal effects of local and national policies. The interviews examine children’s and parents’ experiences with inclusiveness and educational effectiveness, cultural and linguistic resources of the families, their values and ambitions, educational decisions, and wellbeing.

  • Collect research evidence and expert knowledge on best practice in supporting families of culturally and linguistically diverse groups to provide informal education and a safe, healthy, nurturing and stable environment to their children ▼

First, research data-bases, the internet, and local and national experts are consulted to create an inventory of proven or potentially effective approaches to support parents and families. Based on this inventory, a number of the most promising approaches is selected for in-depth case studies to identify effective characteristics, and to generate concrete recommendations for development and implementation. As a third step, based on the expectation that using the heritage languages empowers parents and stimulate children’s development, a transferable prototype of a home-based first language support programme is developed and evaluated, using ICT.

  • Collect research evidence and expert knowledge on best practice in curriculum, pedagogy and inclusive climate development in early childhood and primary school education to enhance the accessibility, effectiveness and inclusiveness of these provisions ▼

First, research data-bases, the internet, and local and national experts are consulted to create an inventory of proven or potentially effective approaches to curriculum, pedagogy, and classroom and school climate. Based on this inventory, promising approaches are selected for in-depth case studies to identify effective characteristics and to generate concrete recommendations for development and implementation. As a third step, based on the expectation that using heritage languages in early education will stimulate children’s language awareness, multicultural attitudes and language and literacy development, a transferable prototype of a multilingual support programme for early childhood and primary education is developed and evaluated, using ICT.

  • Collect research evidence and expert knowledge on innovative practice in professional development in early childhood and primary education to increase the quality, effectiveness and inclusiveness of education practice ▼

First, research data-bases, the internet, and local and national experts are consulted to create an inventory of proven or potentially effective and innovative approaches to professionalization. Second, the attitudes towards diversity and inclusiveness, the experiences and professionalization needs of professionals are assessed. Targeted professionals are those working with culturally and linguistically children and families at the study sites selected for the parent and children interviews (see second objective). Third, a transferable prototype of an ICT-based professionalization programme is developed and evaluated.

  • Collect research evidence and expert knowledge on best practice regarding inter-agency coordination and local governance of comprehensive inter-sectoral support services to culturally and linguistically diverse children, families and communities ▼

First, the research literature and expert views on inter-agency coordination are reviewed to identify the factors at the interpersonal and at the structural-organizational level that are found to determine coordination, collaboration and integration of multiple services. Second, a number of cases of inter-agency working are studied in-depth to identify characteristics of effective approaches. Third, an interview study is conducted amongst service providers, service coordinators and policy representatives at the study sites selected for the parent and children interviews. Finally, to evaluate inter-agency coordination, the findings of the study amongst coordinators and policy representatives are related to the findings in the interview study with children and parents and the internet survey amongst professionals.

  • Disseminate (intermediate) research findings to stakeholders, to initiate debates about the research findings and to involve stakeholders in developing the final policy recommendations ▼

Experts, related to stakeholder groups (e.g., parents, educators, teachers, service providers, policy makers), are involved in several tasks to identify and review good practice. Intermediate and final research results are disseminated through conference presentations, periodical newsletters, professional and academic journal publications and the project’s website. Debates around research findings are organized at conferences and through the project’s website and social media, and at the final conference.

  • Develop a set of concrete recommendations and innovative (ICT-based) models for curriculum and pedagogy implementation, professionalization of educators, and governance ▼

A final report will integrate all research findings and recommendations for practice and policy.