Aiming a comprehensive approach to the dynamic, diverse, multilevel, and interrelated influences on children’s development, ISOTIS Work Packages address different levels of environment (represented as circles in the image), which interact and influence how children develop.
WP1-WP2 examine the nature, causes and impact of early emerging and persistent social and educational inequalities in the context of socioeconomic, cultural and institutional processes at different levels of society. WP3-WP5 examine possible effective interventions to combat educational inequalities working with parents, children, and professionals and develop an inter-related set of prototype models for intervention using ICT-technology. WP6 examines possible interventions at the level of local and national governance through improving interagency coordination.
Together these work packages will provide a comprehensive set of practical recommendations and evidence-based examples of good practice, and concrete tools. WP7-8 are responsible for monitoring the overall goals of ISOTIS.
WP1 – Inequality in educational careers
WP1 addresses the macro- and chrono-level aspects using large-scale international cohort data, encompassing several generations of students, and data from recent longitudinal studies from several European countries.
This work package focuses on the macro-level of education systems and educational policy and aims to identify important mechanisms and nodal points in European societies’ educational systems, which are amenable to policy intervention at multiple levels.
The work will focus on five developmental stages: infancy (age 0 to 1); toddlerhood (age 1 to below 3); preschool age (age 3 to below 6); school age (age 6 and older); and post-secondary stage (adolescence and adulthood).
Three types of data will be combined: cross-sectional data collected at various ages (and for multiple cohorts) to create pseudo-panel data; longitudinal data from selected European countries covering various stages of the educational career; and institutional data on educational institutions and reforms.
WP2 – Interviews with culturally and linguistically diverse families
WP2 has as main task to organize and coordinate structured and in-depth interview studies with parents and children from culturally and linguistically diverse groups across Europe. This work package addresses the micro-level of families and the integration processes in relation to meso-level local context characteristics and macro-level national policies and institutions.
The goal is to collect up-to-date empirical knowledge about the cultural and linguistic resources in families, about the acculturation-participation orientation and identity construction, the experiences with (early) education provisions and other services, the aspirations and expectations, and the wellbeing of parents and children in these groups.
The design of the study allows for several comparative analyses, such as within groups-between countries, within countries-between groups, and within countries-between locations. These comparative analyses serve the goal of obtaining differentiated insights in how characteristics of national and local education and support policies interact with characteristics of the groups in creating educational inequalities.
WP3 –Family support to increase educational equality
WP3 addresses the role of parenting support and home-based education programs to support parents in creating safe, nurturing and stimulating home environments. This work package addresses the micro-level of families and the meso-level of family support systems.
WP3 focuses on home- and community-based approaches and centre-based initiatives that involve parents to strengthen the home-learning environment and school-parent partnerships for children under six years of age.
The overall objective is to create a broad overview of existing approaches, to collect available evidence and to examine in-depth good practices to be able to formulate widely applicable recommendations for the development and implementation of parent- and family-focused support programs.
In addition, integrating the findings from the interview studies of WP2, the objective is to develop, implement and evaluate a transferable family-focused program prototype using an ICT-based virtual learning environment to support first language development.
WP4 – Inclusive curricula and educational practices
WP4 addresses curriculum and pedagogy development in early childhood education and care settings and in primary schools to increase effectiveness and inclusiveness. This work package addresses the micro-level of classroom practices.
The main objective is to identify approaches to curriculum and pedagogy that support both academic learning and the development of skills needed for life-long learning and optimal participation in the 21st century. These concern, in particular, executive functions, self-regulation, creativity, social-collaboration skills and citizenship, and that provide an inclusive, positive social climate to classroom, the centre and the school.
Close cooperation with WP3 and WP5 will be ensured as family involvement and professional development approaches are likely key features of interventions, programs, and approaches identified by WP4.
WP5 – Development of professionals and organisations
WP5 focuses on innovative strategies of professional development and organization-level, addressing the meso-level of childhood education and care services, primary schools and extra-curricular programs.
The overall aim of WP5 is to identify effective strategies for professional development that take into account new approaches to professional learning, i.e. virtual learning and team-based models of learning, and that focus specifically on increasing cultural and linguistic awareness among professionals in their work with culturally and linguistically diverse children.
A related aim is to identify characteristics of the centres and schools at the organizational level that support professionals in dealing with cultural and linguistic diversity and in creating an inclusive, positive climate in the classroom, centre and school.
WP6 – INTER-AGENCY COORDINATION OF SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
WP6 focuses on service coordination as a factor in combatting inequality and exclusion. This work package examines possible interventions with regard to offering comprehensive services to culturally and linguistically diverse children and families, with a focus on innovative models of effective inter-agency coordination. WP6 addresses the meso- and macro-level aspects of local and national governance.
The general goal is to gather information from research studies and other sources in order to summarise existing knowledge of inter-agency working involving young children and their families; and extend this knowledge through further data collection in case studies of good practice in a number of countries and interviews with practitioners and policy makers.
This information will be used to develop an understanding of what contributes to the best implementation in the area of inter-agency working with young children and their families in Europe.
WP7 –Dissemination, and communication
WP7 is responsible for dissemination of the results of ISOTIS and the communication with relevant stakeholders. The overall aim is to translate, disseminate and communicate all project results to four target audiences: education professionals; representatives of culturally and linguistically diverse children, parents and communities; educational policymakers; and the scientific community.
WP8 – Project management
WP8 is responsible for the overall coordination of administrative and scientific work, including the planning and documenting of meetings. It provides the interface with the European Commission. This work package takes responsibility for the continuous evaluation of the project taking into account both the project objectives and the objectives of individual work packages.