Ouders halen kinderen op van school

In our research we:

  • identify factors that support and constrain the development of children;
  • address cognitive, motor, numeric and linguistic development, as well as identity development and the development of creativity and citizenship;
  • address the formal, institutionalized learning and development contexts of children and young people, as well as the informal contexts;
  • see development and learning as interconnected with the social and intercultural dynamics in pedagogical contexts such as the school, neighborhood, family or online communities;
  • address developmental issues of children and youth in relation to bigger societal issues such as inequality, polarization and exclusion;
  • develop educational and pedagogical interventions that contribute to societal objectives such as creating equal opportunities and an inclusive society;
  • collaborate with partners on developing pedagogically innovative tools and pedagogical infrastructures.
Kinderen in een leslokaal met een robot

Instead of a focus on the treatment of individual developmental problems (learning difficulties, physical disabilities and mental disorders, language disorders), we rather take the perspective of prevention and innovation, and ask how pedagogical practices, infrastructures and systems can be designed to function more effectively to support the development and participation of children and youth as well as the role parents and educators. Our work field covers both the family, child and youth care facilities and the education and youth sector.
Apart from a focus on effectivity we pay attention to the normativity implied in educational and pedagogical arrangements, and how these have implications for issues of inclusion, social justice and participation rights.
Our interest lays in programming research that takes into account the consequences of societal issues such as new social inequality, social participation and inclusion, migration, diversity, inclusion, radicalisation and polarization.  Our research agenda is driven by such issues at the local and national context, but also by a comparative, international perspective.

The department's research is positioned in the UU research programme on Education and Learning and is embedded in several central strategic themes of Utrecht University: Dynamics of Youth and Institutions for Open Societies.