Elk jaar financiert het NWO in opdracht van het Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap (OCW) onderzoek in het kader van de Nationale Wetenschapsagenda. Ook in 2020 zijn daarvoor initiatieven ingediend. Hieronder staan de initiatieven op een rij voor de NWA-route Jeugd. De onderzoekers – en soms al consortia – stellen zich voor in korte filmpjes.  Heb je interesse om je aan te sluiten bij een van de initiatieven? Neem dan contact op met de indiener. Het indienen van een nieuw initiatief is voor 2020 niet meer mogelijk. Meer informatie over deze ‘ORC (onderzoek op routes door consortia) 2020 call’ vind je op de website van de NWA.

  • The Digital Society: Balancing on- and off-screen behaviour (BOOST)

    Dr. R.J.J.M. (Regina) van den Eijnden — University of Utrecht (UU)

    Cluster question 059: How can we help children and adolescents grow up safe and healthy?

    During the last decade, the use of digital devices (smartphone, tablet) by children and adolescents has further increased, and so have societal concerns about the possible health effects of (heavy) use of digital media. Parents, teachers, and professionals have to deal with these worries, but are poorly equipped to do so as expertise in this field is limited. Although longitudinal studies have addressed possible health outcomes of digital media and screen use, the state-of-the-art knowledge is largely hindered by contradictory findings. An important reason for inconsistent results is that significant predictors of health outcomes that relate to digital media use, such as non-screen activities (e.g. sleep, exercise) and more qualitative aspects of screen use (e.g. cybervictimization), are largely ignored in these studies, as well as individual and social factors that may shape the health outcomes of screen use. Project BOOST will deal with these shortcomings by utilizing a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach aiming at youngsters aged 8-18 years. The project will examine how aspects of on- and off-screen behavior contribute to different screen use profiles, and how these profiles predict problematic (addictive-like) screen use, as well as cognitive, physical and psychosocial wellbeing, taking account of qualitative aspects of screen use, as well as individual, family and peer factors. Moreover, mechanisms underlying health effects will be investigated, and particular groups that are at heightened risk for the development unhealthy screen use patterns. The generated insights within the BOOST project will be used to develop tools for early screening and signaling of unhealthy screen use (Screen Use Balance self-test), developing and piloting child/parent materials as well as materials for professionals to support and promote healthy screen use.

    Utrecht University (UU), Amsterdam University Medical Center (Amsterdam UMC), Trimbos Institute, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands Youth Institute, Jellinek, Stichting Kocon, Stichting Alexander, GGD-HM, Nemo, Vodafone Ziggo, University of Amsterdam (CcaM), University of Tilburg (TiU), Netwerk Mediawijsheid, NEMO Science Museum

  • Motivation2Learn: Designing inherently motivating schools based on learning sciences, game design and cognitive neuroscience

    Prof.dr. H. (Harold) Bekkering — Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen; Donders Institute Centre for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (RU)

    Cluster question 065: What should education be like in the future?

    The secondary school years offer great possibilities for students to develop oneself in many possible ways, given sufficient motivation for learning. However, motivation among Dutch students is low and already decreasing for years. We set out to study and design an inherently motivational educational setting, fostering student well-being, bolstering learning performance, and supporting teachers. We integrate, extent and implement of interdisciplinary knowledge about motivation for learning across the learning sciences, game design and cognitive neurosciences. The learning sciences offer insights into motivation constructs, classroom interactions and learning design; game design into effectively designing for motivation; and cognitive neuroscience into the neural underpinnings of motivated learning for a deeper understanding. We test, validate, and apply this integrated knowledge in the complete educational setting, consisting of the curriculum, learning context, assessment, and the role of the teacher. Through design research, quasi-experimental and experimental setups, including two longitudinal studies across the secondary school lifespan (one observational, one brain development), we will understand, create and design an inherently motivating Dutch secondary educational setting. Our approach explicitly takes into account both cognitive and emotional aspects of student learning and both physical and digital design considerations, making school into an engaging learning experience. To realize this, our consortium includes schools (100+) and their teachers, the secondary school board, student board, the Dutch Inspectorate of Education, 35 scientists from all disciplines involvedat different stages of their careers, school designers, game designers, educational software companies and many other important societal partners. Together, we tackle the current lack of motivation for learning in secondary education, all to support students, teachers, and for society as a whole to prosper.

    Radboud University – Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (RU-DCC); University of Amsterdam (UvA); Open University (OU); Radboud University – Radboud Teachers Academy (RU-RDA); Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) / Avans University of Applied Sciences; HKU University of the Arts Utrecht; HAN University of Applied Sciences – Centre of Expertise Teaching and Learning with ICT; Leiden University (UL); HZ University of Applied Sciences; Eindhoven University of Technology (Tue); Nieuwe Opleidings-school Amsterdam; Lumion, school van je leven – Amsterdam; Nederlandse Montessori Vereniging; Nederlandse Agora Vereniging; Scholengroep Rijk van Nijmegen; Mondia Scholengroep; Koningin Wilhelmina College – Culemborg; Bonaventuracollege – Leiden; Calandlyceum – Amsterdam; Erfgooiers College – Huizen; Montessori College Nijmegen-Groesbeek; Montessori Scholengemeenschap Amsterdam; Haags Montessori Lyceum (HML); Montessori College Arnhem; Niek-e – Roermond; MC Agora Nijmegen; Agora 10-15 – Groesbeek; De Nieuwste School – Tilburg; Schoolinfo; Bureau ICE; EromesMarko – De onderwijsinrichter; Hulan Game Studio; IJsfontein; Shapers & Learning Experience Design (LXD); WRTS; Enliven; Platform Eigentijds Onderwijs (Pleion); Technasium; Kunskapsskolan Nederland; Vereniging Ons Middelbaar Onderwijs (OMO); Stichting Carmelcollege; Christelijk College Nassau-Veluwe (CCNV); Het Johannes Fontanus College (JFC); Landelijke Actie Komitee Scholieren (LAKS); VO-Raad; SLO – Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development; Dutch Inspectorate of Education; GEU – samen werken voor onderwijs; Magister; Mission Start. Platform voor leren & gamification; Dutch Game Association (DGA); Lapp/SMM; LIAG – Architects of Happiness

  • Multilingual Voices in STEM Education

    Prof. dr. W.B.T. (Elma) Blom — Utrecht University (UU)

    Cluster question 065: What should education be like in the future?

    In the Netherlands, migrant children do not optimally participate in education and their multilingual voices are insufficiently heard. As instruction is in Dutch, these children face the double challenge of simultaneously learning a language and learning through that language. Knowledge and proficiency in the home language remain unused when learning mathematics or science. Several actors in children’s daily environments could strengthen their participation through enacting multilingual strategies. However, teachers do not know how to use the full linguistic repertoire of migrant children. Educational professionals working in science centres strive for inclusion but fail to include migrant children in available educational programmes. Migrant parents face obstacles to engage in their children’s education and learning because of language barriers. Even though in their daily lives children move between these formal (school), non-formal (science centres) and informal (home) settings, there is limited interaction between such settings and limited use of multilingualism as a resource to cross boundaries faced within and between settings. From a scientific perspective, there is a need to determine if children participate more when using their full linguistic repertoires, to better understand and conceptualise the relevant language barriers, and to pinpoint how multilingual strategies support children’s participation within different learning setting and support interactions between different learning settings. The aim of this initiative is to understand how multilingual strategies can promote migrant children’s STEM participation in and across formal, non-formal and informal learning settings involving different actors such as teaching professionals, other educational professionals working in, for example, science centres, and caregivers in the home environment such as parents and extended family.

  • Diet-related attitudes, meanings and social norms in families with children: The moderating role of socioeconomic position and strategy development for change

    Dr. G. (Gerry) Jager — Wageningen University and Research (WUR)

    Cluster question 059: How can we help children and adolescents grow up safe and healthy?

    Populations with a lower socioeconomic position (SEP) usually consume poorer diets with lower intake of fruits, vegetables and fibres, and higher intake of energy-dense foods, as compared to higher SEP groups. The persistent  socioeconomic inequalities in health status  is addressed in the National Prevention Agreement by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, stating that in particular those in the early stages of life require extra attention and effort, as their health potential is large: the young can benefit most from health improvements to achieve the biggest impact possible. Lifestyle interventions can contribute to improving diet quality, but despite all efforts, many of the existing interventions fail to reach the lower-SEP group. An important reason may be that tools do not match the diet-related attitudes, meanings and social norms of this group. Within the context of poverty, unemployment, physical and psychological distress, food and eating is one of the few things that low SEP families have their say in, is at least something rewarding and enjoyable, and within reach for indulging on their children’s wishes and demands. With this project we want to get the target population (low SEP families with children) actively involved from the start, with participative community-based approaches and other forms of citizen participation. A far better understanding is needed of the role SEP plays in the set of attitudes, meanings and social norms, related to what is ‘good, tasty and healthy’ eating and why. Public partners interested in taking part in this initiative include the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, the Netherlands Nutrition Centre, and regional Community Health Services. Novel insights can be used to compose a roadmap for adaptation of existing lifestyle and healthy-eating programs in order to improve their reach, acceptability and effectiveness and to guide the development of novel ones targeted at low-SEP families with children.

    VU University Amsterdam; Hogeschool van Amsterdam; Maastricht University; RIVM, Voedingscentrum, GGD NOG

  • Teaching Robots and AI in Schools (TRAINS)

    Prof. dr. E. (Emiel Krahmer) — Tilburg University (TiU)

    Cluster question 065: What should education be like in the future?

    How should children and adolescents be educated about artificial intelligence (AI) and robots? And, conversely, how can robots and AI contribute to the education of children and adolescents? The TRAINS NWA-ORC project aims to find out.

    AI and social robots will have a major impact on how people learn and work in the near future. Current developments in AI and social robots, both in science and society, have great innovative and economic potential and move fast. Clearly, future generations need to be prepared for these impactful developments, and this calls for a revision of the way we educate children and adolescents. However, there is a lack of insights and expertise on how to best develop and evaluate new educational modules involving robots and AI for educational purposes.

    Importantly, robots and AI themselves are potential game changers for education: smart social robots and AI-powered digital tools can support teachers by offering personalised lessons. They can adapt to individual learners and deal with diverse populations more effectively and efficiently than human teachers can, who are constrained by lack of time and resources. However, despite promising initial results, systematic studies into the role of robots and AI for education are limited and an integrative approach is missing.

    The TRAINS project aims to fill the two identified gaps, thereby providing a major contribution to the Dutch “digitalisation in education” agenda. This strongly interdisciplinary project brings together leading scientists from education, psychology, communication, AI and robotics from 10 Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences.”TRAINS” covers the entire knowledge chain by combining fundamental and applied research, and focusses on both practical and policy implications. To achieve this, we collaborate with many societal partners, including 200 Dutch schools of various levels and their overarching networks, educational publishers, international technology providers, and educational policy makers.

    Avans University of Applied Sciences, HU University of Applied Sciences, Leiden University (LEI), University of Groningen (RUG), Utrecht University (UU), TU Delft (TUD), University of Amsterdam (UvA), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). Societal organisations: BS de Kersenboom, Eckart College, Goois Lyceum, Hanson Robotics, Kennisnet, NEMO Science Museum, Ons Middelbaar Onderwijs, Openbaar Onderwijs Groningen, ROC Tilburg, Service Bureau Kinderopvang, SKO West-Friesland, SoftBank Robotics Europe, Stichting Spaarnesant, Stichting WTE, Thieme-Meulenhoff, Uitgeverij Zwijsen, WisMon Bèta onderwijsinstituut.

  • A healthy start: Understanding how child factors, family, and neighborhood influence children’s lifestyle and wellbeing

    dr. T. (Tina) Kretschmer — University of Groningen (RUG)

    Cluster question 085: What is the best way for us to analyse and prevent the problem of overweight and obesity?

    Children in the Netherlands and elsewhere have an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and eat more processed foods, leading to higher child overweight and obesity rates than ever before. Why? To be physically active, children need green spaces, playgrounds, opportunities to move around in car-free streets. What children eat should be of high nutritional value but low in sugar and saturated fat. Parents largely determine their offspring’s diet, set or don’t set meal routines, and act as role models for a positive approach to healthy food from early on. It is puzzling that pre- and interventions tackle child lifestyle in a unidimensional manner and focus on school or family environment, but rarely both. What is more, a child’s DNA, metabolism, and personality affect not only calorie update and spending but also determines how family and neighborhood environment influence child health and wellbeing. In short, child, family, and neighborhood factors act in interplay in determining child health and wellbeing but integrated, personalized programs are lacking. A reason for this is the absence of an integrated scientific knowledge base, which hinders the efficient translation of scientific insight into effective integrated lifestyle pre- and interventions for children.

  • Matching personality and motivation to optimal study choice: the road to a being a successful student and satisfied worker

    dr. M. (Mariëtte) Huizinga — Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

    Cluster question 059: How can we help children and adolescents grow up safe and healthy?

    A well-informed study choice is a significant predictor for successful achievement in higher education and subsequent success on the labor market. Making this choice is a complicated process. There is an abundance of study topics to choose from, but students often lack the tools to guide this decision. Yet still, the dropout rates in Dutch higher education are high, placing a considerable burden on public finance and the wellbeing of students. Some students make a choice based on their own interest and curiosity. However, many other students make a choice based on parental expectations or self-worth concerns. For example, a student with a personality profile that is very much attuned to establishing and nurturing close relationships with others would ideally select a profession like nursing or medicine but might perhaps choose a career in finance due to external factors like expected income. Such a student would subsequently be more likely to drop out. The main goal of this project is to optimize the process of making an educational choice by developing and disseminating an educational tool that matches students’ personality traits, motivational strivings and study characteristics, leading to better motivation for learning, lower drop-out rates and increased study satisfaction.

    Utrecht University (UU), Radboud University (RU)

  • A tailored transdiagnostic approach to preventing growing inequalities with children

    Prof.dr. B. (Bram) Orobio de Castro — University of Amsterdam (UvA)

    Cluster question 059: How can we help children and adolescents grow up safe and healthy?

    Inequalities in wellbeing, health, income, and safety start early in life, and increase as children grow up. The majority of Dutch children develop in an upward spiral of benefitting from enriching experiences with parents, peers, and education. But a minority of children grow up in a vicious cycle of increasing exclusion and marginalization that limits their skills and opportunities to thrive and contribute to society. We now know that adverse early childhood experiences and child susceptibility contribute to social-cognitive and emotion-regulation problems in children, such as hostile attribution biases and moodswings, that in turn evoke more aversive environmental responses. Thus, they become incapsulated in an increasingly rigid pathway of being rejected and rejecting social participation, leading to (mental) health problems, dropout, crime, and huge societal costs.

    Unfortunately, society’s response to these developmental processes has mainly consisted of waiting until a vicious cycle has escalated, label the concerning child as having one of many ‘disorders’, and providing treatment that is ’too little, too late’ with limited effects at high costs.

    Aim of our project is to effectively prevent vicious cycles of problematic child development much earlier in life, by using our knowledge of transdiagnostic processes to address the very core mechanisms that exacerbate problematic development: social cognitive, emotion regulation, and social interaction processes.  To do so, we will cooperate closely with children and their families to tailor prevention to the specific mechanisms that maintain problems in individual children. In addressing these mechanisms, we will use innovative core elements of effective treatment we developed, like systematically using time series of client functioning to adapt intervention, and interactive virtual reality training of social-cognitive and emotion-regulation skills. This will allow us to effectively help children with an unfavourable start in life to thrive.

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • In search of trust: evidence-based interventions to reduce and monitor socio-economic and ethno-racial inequality in punishment

    Prof. dr. A.S. (Arjen) Leerkes — Erasmus University Rotterdam (EMC)

    Cluster question 041: What is the ”inequality problem”?

    Socio-economic and ethno-racial inequalities in punishment are well-documented in the Netherlands and elsewhere. Such inequalities constrain disadvantaged youth; life chances, and put pressure on the legitimacy of the liberal state, which promises equality before the law. Given its prevalence and importance, there is a surprising lack of evidence-based interventions to reduce such inequalities. The Netherlands currently also lacks a cost-efficient methodology to systematically monitor them.

    These inequalities in punishment partly result from macro-level factors that are hard to change (e.g. how and where different groups live, or how the police is organized). However, they also result from the – often quite subtle – interactional processes between youth, other citizens (e.g. neighbourhood residents), and state functionaries (police, public prosecutors, judges). These actors’ interpretations and interaction strategies codetermine whether formal or more informal forms of social control are used and whether interactions reinforce or decrease mutual trust.

    This project has two aims:

    1. To develop and test evidence-based interventions among youth and criminal justice system functionaries that will reduce social inequalities in punishment and problematic mutual distrust. We seek to develop these interventions with schools, social workers, and relevant state institutions, such as local governments, police, public persecutors, ”Halt”, and courts. The interventions could have the form of theoretically underpinned online/offline educational material and trainings for youth and professionals. The design and documentation of the Interventions should ensure that they are replicable, possibly in adjusted form, in other cultural contexts (e.g., outside of the Netherlands and in the future). Existing best practices (e.g. informal organizational expertise) will be interpreted theoretically and streamlined into Dutch, and possibly English, educational material.
    2. To develop cost-effective methodologies that can be used to monitor social inequalities at different stages of the criminal justice system, such as by combining self-reported crime and criminal justice data.

    Talks have begun with the Dutch police, different Ministries, schools, and NGOs

  • The fall and rise of literacy in the Netherlands

    Prof. Dr. Judith Rispens — University of Amsterdam (Uva)

    Cluster question 065: What should education be like in the future?

    Literacy levels of Dutch high school students have dropped dramatically during the last decade. Currently, nearly 25% of 15-year old children do not reach minimum standards of literacy, and are unable to understand and reflect on even the simplest of texts. Low literacy levels may lead to poor academic achievement, school dropout, economic adversity and health problems. Poor literacy also impedes active participation in an open and democratic society — a society that relies on its citizens to, among other things, communicate and interact through (digital) text. This project aims to flip the current trend, and has at its goal increasing the literacy levels of Dutch students.

    Literacy is a multi-faceted and dynamic construct. In order to achieve a change in literacy levels in the Netherlands, an interdisciplinary perspective on both the problem analysis (why is proficiency deteriorating?) as on possible interventions (how to improve literacy levels?) is necessary. Development and ultimate proficiency of literacy is influenced by different factors, such as home context (genetic traits; availability of books); school context (didactics; quality / quantity of teachers); type of text (complexity; genre; medium); type of skill (reading / writing); motivation to read/write; and linguistic factors (oral language development). In the current project, a multidisciplinary team of experts from cognition, linguistics, hermeneutics, didactics and pedagogy and experts working with the target population (e.g., teachers; librarians; publishers) will address these factors. We will perform a problem analysis (within an international context), based on which we will propose, test and implement sustainable solutions both within the family as in the school context in order to achieve a higher literacy proficiency in the Netherlands.

    University Leiden; University Utrecht; Stichting Lezen

  • Join Up: developing and institutionalizing transformative youth governance networks

    Dr. Jan-Kees Helderman — Radboud University (Nijmegen School of Management, Institute for Management Research) (RU)

    Cluster question 059: How can we help children and adolescents grow up safe and healthy?

    The 2015-Youth Act marked the start of the transformation of the Dutch youth domain. The transformation intends to create a healthy, safe and fair environment for youngsters to successfully develop themselves in their various contexts (at home, at school, etc.). These objectives are far from being achieved. The youth care and pedagogical domain is compounded of many subsystems, which is partly caused by the fact that child and adolescent (youngsters) development simply takes place in a myriad of contexts. It is also fragmented and segmented because of a manifold of disciplinary, organizational, legal and institutional barriers. These barriers make it an extremely complex system for youngsters and their families to find their ways in, for professionals to work in, and for public authorities to govern it. Transformative youth care therefore requires ‘joined up’ governance across multiple institutional, organizational and disciplinary levels and scales. It requires professionals across the entire range, that is, child- and youth-psychiatry, (ortho)pedagogy, youth protection, social work, teachers, and so forth, to coordinate their activities and develop their knowledge in multidisciplinary teams and expertise-networks. It requires municipalities to develop new procurement and (inter-municipal) governance arrangements that facilitate such collaborations, including governance services networks within and across their jurisdictions. Finally, it requires new methods of ‘joined up’ inquiry (i.e. data-collection and diagnostic monitoring at the level of individual cases and populations) in order to detect, analyse and explain transformative trends in youth population outcomes so that stakeholders can collectively learn from transformative practices and account for their outcomes. This consortium aims to provide knowledge of the various conditions that foster a more coherent, interdisciplinary and inclusive approach to the realization of a positive developmental perspective for youngsters, so that their interests and rights are sufficiently served and safeguarded by the policy and practice of upbringing, education and guidance.

    Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health), Radboud Universiteit (Faculty of Social Sciences), Rijksuniversiteit Leiden (Leiden Law School), Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam UMC), gemeente Nijmegen, Ondersteuningsteam Zorg voor de Jeugd, StroomOp, Accare

  • Inclusivity in Secondary Vocational Education Through Partnerships With Street Youth

    Dr. N. (Naomi) van Stapele — THUAS (The Hague University of Applied Sciences)

    Cluster question 065: What should education be like in the future?

    Despite great effort, secondary vocational education (MBO) in the Netherlands still faces major challenges in reaching and retaining ‘minoritized’ street youth and in successfully guiding them to the labor market. Central to this research is the question how these vocational institutions can include these youth in education and guide them to meaningful employment. The growing unemployment among this group of multiple marginalized youth and mounting concerns about social cohesion in certain neighborhoods in the big cities make this question all the more urgent. This research is inspired by initiatives in East Africa and Indonesia in which unexpected actors such as gangs work together with teachers to guide street youth to access vocational education through 1) informal ‘learning and work’ pathways, 2) student-led pedagogy, and 3) the use of tailor-made digital applications. This has created all kinds of informal alliances between street youth and local vocational institutions, with the result that the institutions have become more inclusive for students who would otherwise have dropped out and entered crime or become radicalized. By means of collaborative action research in Rotterdam and The Hague, this project aims to translate these ‘best practices’ to the Dutch context by organizing partnerships with street youth as part of outreach and retention strategies of MBO institutions. The collaborative aspect of this research points at the central role of co-creation between street youth, teachers and professionals in the design, implementation and translation of research into long-term and student-led interventions. The method used is ‘community-led research and action’ (CLRA), which puts the lived experiences, knowledges and aspirations of the youth at the center of this research and all knowledge products. As a result, the teachers and professionals will develop skills to make their pedagogical guidance of the students more inclusive by continuously adapting to their life worlds, (ethical) perspectives and (learning) needs.

    University of Amsterdam (UvA), ECHO (Expertcentre for Diversity Policy), International Institute of Social Studies (ISS).

  • HAPPY Research and Intervention Program

    Prof. Dr. P.J.M. (Paul) Havinga — Twente University (UT)

    Cluster question 057: Can we find the right balance between freedom of information and privacy?

    The HAPPY project will provide personalized behaviour interventions for children and adolescents to optimally support their development, well-being and participation in their family, community and digital lives. HAPPY will provide children with experiences and opportunities that help them gain and use the skills they need to participate meaningfully in our rapidly changing society especially with the current necessary trend towards remote learning.

    Our broad consortium applies a holistic approach on child and adolescent development, integrating education, sports, physical movements, physical and virtual worlds, physical and mental health and psychology, pedagogy , design, gaming and nudging, data science, artificial intelligent, sensing technologies, ICT, privacy and security, IoT, ethics and legal aspects. Together, this makes it possible to i) integrate all relevant sources of information efficiently and inexpensively, ii) follow development through time with automated processes in a responsible, ethical, legal, and FAIR manner, iii) deliver individual interventions and support for each individual and members of her/his ecosystem, iv) to allow the individual to reach her or his full potential, involving the stakeholders themselves and v) assure privacy and security by design while also guaranteeing trust in the data for all the stakeholders involved. The fundamental aim of HAPPY is to develop a comprehensive approach for supporting development, wellbeing and community participation of children and adolescents especially when contact with other children or institutions is physically limited. Our hypothesis is that behaviour interventions are most effective if they are personalized and woven into children’s activities and daily routines of everyday life. We know that children perform and learn best in everyday situations with familiar people. HAPPY is about encouraging and supporting everyday activities to naturally build on opportunities for learning and development already present at home, childcare, preschool, school, playgroups, and in the community such as sports clubs, parks and shopping centers.

    TNO, Leiden University (LEI), TU Delft (TUD), LUMC, Utrecht University (UU), University of Amsterdam (UvA), CWI, Windesheim, Saxion, UNICEF, Bartimeus, Cito, CleVR, Cognizant, Curium, Datacadabra, Gemeente Rotterdam, INTER-PSY, Locus positioning, NOC*NSF, NXP, Roessingh Research and Development, Stichting Beeld en Geluid, Stichting CLC Arnhem PO, Stichting Onderwijsspecialisten, Urban Sports Coalition

  • The impact of preterm birth; Restoring the future of preterm born children and their families

    Dr. S.H.P. (Sinno) Simons — Erasmus MC (EMC)-Sophia Children’s Hospital

    Cluster question 059: How can we help children and adolescents grow up safe and healthy?

    Preterm birth is an enormous societal problem with detrimental short- and long-term effects for both the child and family. Stress during neonatal life is associated with neurological, behavioral and cardiovascular disease later in life. Parents of preterm born infants are at increased risk for depression(15-45%), posttraumatic stress disorder(20-38%), relationship distress(25%) and disturbed parent-child interaction.

    With the improvement of perinatal care more children survive preterm birth with associated morbidity, resulting in a large societal problem with enormous healthcare costs (Euro 160.000.000,- in 2017). Optimal preventive and therapeutic strategies are largely unknown. With this project we recognize the negative impact of preterm birth and set out to develop an interventional national program to improve child and adolescent development (NWA-cluster-059).

    Our already established national consortium successfully started to collect data on stress in a multicenter cohort of preterm born children and their parents (HIPPO-2020-2021). Next, we will conduct follow-up to study psychosocial and psychological outcomes for the children and their families together with (epigenetic) biomarkers and neurological, hemodynamic, pulmonary, endocrine outcome. Further data on the longer perspective will be obtained from additional available national cohorts of preterm born children that were born from 2010 onwards (EPIDAF-2010-2011). Analysis of those well-defined cohorts combined with translational stress studies will provide knowledge on the key impact factors that complicate the future of preterm born children and their family. Subsequently, preventive and therapeutic interventions such as analgesic therapies and structural early psychosocial support will be developed by our national expert group. These programs will be directly implemented in a new cohort of preterm born children (HIPPO-2) to prevent impaired outcome. Next, this program will be evaluated -and if proven successful- implemented as standard of care. In this way we will not only gain knowledge, but will directly protect the next generation of vulnerable children and their families.

    AUMC-Emma Children’s Hospital, WKZ, KLIK, UMCG, Radboud UMC (RUMC), Maxima MC, LUMC, MUMC+, Isala clinics, VOC, Veerkrachtige ouders

  • HEALS Applied aims to reduce the detrimental effects of Stress in Early Life (SEL) on development and health in the first 1000 days of life, i.e. from conception to early childhood

    Prof.dr. Menno (S.A.) Reijneveld — University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Health Sciences (UMCG)

    Cluster question 059: How can we help children and adolescents grow up safe and healthy?

    The first 1000 days of life, from conception till age two years, shape people’s life. Unhealthy stress in this early period, e.g. exposure to trauma, violence, and maltreatment/neglect may have detrimental, lifetime effects on physical and psychological health. Effects depend on intensity and type of stress, and resilience of child and parents, affecting quality of life, development, health and healthcare costs. The Healthy EArly Life Start (HEALS) Applied project aims to maximize the opportunities for a healthy and meaningful further life by elucidating new routes to decrease the adverse effects of Stress in Early Life (SEL) at community level. It applies 1) our knowledge that SEL is potentially detrimental, and 2) the excellent Dutch infrastructure for prevention in early life, i.e. obstetric, maternity, and preventive child healthcare. HEALS Applied elicits pathways from SEL and its determinants to adverse health outcomes in e.g. growth and development (WP1). This supports identifying tools for detection of SEL in routine care (WP2), and for intervening on SEL and its adverse consequences (WP3). Detection includes questionnaires, tests, observations, wearables, and biomarkers. Interventions reduce either children’s exposure to SEL or its  detrimental effects, personalized to the type of SEL-exposure. HEALS Applied focuses on promise for routine practice, prenatally and postnatally (WP4). To guarantee feasibility, parents, practitioners, and tool developers co-create and continuously evaluate progress.

    HEALS Applied combines profound expertise on biological and psychosocial routes leading to SEL with extensive expertise on innovation in detection, and intervention design and evaluation, and a strong network in prenatal, obstetric and preventive child healthcare. It has access to excellent community-based datasets (Lifelines, Generation R, ABCD); to state-of-the-art wearables, biomarkers, and evaluation techniques; and to care providers.

    HEALS Applied has game-changing potential. It provides individualized approaches for timely prevention of SEL, effectively neutralizing its lifetime detrimental effects and societal costs.

    TNO Child Health; Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Department of Psychology, Education & Child Studies; Radboud University Medical Center, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition & Behaviour; TNO, Department of Microbiology and Systems Biology; University of Twente, Department of Computer Science; Amsterdam UMC, Department of Public & Occupational Health; Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, Research group Co-Design; Netherlands Center Youth Health (NCJ); Northern Academic Collaborative Centre on Youth, C4Youth; Academic Collaborative Centre on Youth SAMEN; ICT for Brain, Body & Behavior, i3B

  • “Eat the rainbow!”

    Prof.dr. Edith J.M. Feskens — Wageningen University (WUR)

    Cluster question 105: How can Big Data and technological innovation (e-health) contribute to health care?

    Nutrition science is a complex field with aspects ranging from single molecules to eating behavior. Dietary advice seems often overcomplicated to consumers/patients, with no improvement in health as a result. Especially to groups who could benefit most, such as low SES children, the advice seems often too difficult or complicated. To reach this group we opt for short and simple advice that does have an impact on health, rather than a complete advice with little result.

    We will develop a data driven, color-based AI tool which gives real-time nutrition feedback to the user. The feedback will be based on the color of the food. While food color does not accurately represent its macro- and micronutrient content, an overall correlation of increasing color diversity with a more balanced diet can expected. For example, an unhealthy diet often consists of high energy dense foods that have a yellow/brown color, such as candy bars, fries, and milkshakes, whereas healthy diets contain bright colors due to fruits and vegetables. ‘Eating the rainbow’ may thus be a quick and effective tool to increase vegetable and fruit intake compared to the traditional advice ‘eat more high-fiber starchy carbohydrates and leafy vegetables’.

    Feedback to the user will be offered in the form of competitive games (children can collect all the colors of the rainbow by making pictures of their food) in a simple to use app-based tool. The intervention will be made attractive using state-of-the-art gamification and usability techniques, to enhance adoption. Living labs will be used for validation of the tool and ‘eating the rainbow’ advice will be compared to the standard dietary advice. Extension to other target groups (elderly) can follow.

    Experts and early career researchers in AI, nutrition, design, psychology and childhood obesity are involved; partners include Voedingscentrum, schools, health professionals and retail/ industry.

    Technical University Eindhoven, Technical University Delft, University Twente, Maastricht UMC, Christelijke Hogeschool Ede, Voedingscentrum, Alliantie Voeding in de Zorg, Buurtportcoaches Leeuwarden

  • Ventilation baby care day care centers

    Prof. ir. Wim Zeiler — TU Eindhoven (TU/e)

    Cluster question 059: How can we help children and adolescents grow up safe and healthy?

    When an infant is born, he or she begins independently breathing for the first time, meaning that immediately his or her lungs start becoming a principal interface between the outside air and the organism being considerably and continuously influenced by the IAQ. Daycare centers (DCCs) or early life educational institutions, the first program for the social development of young children (generally aged 0-5 years old), are the most important place besides their home Adequate evidence supports the statement that young children enrolled in daycare centers in urban areas, particularly near busy roads, are exposed to more concentrations of PM. There is a good trend in increasing monitoring of PM levels across the countries, especially in Asian regions, but, still, more particulate matter characterization and standardization of sampling techniques are needed. More attention should be placed at IAQ within the young children’s breathing zone (e.g., sleeping micro-environment). There is a clear need to improve indoor air quality in daycare centers and to establish specific IAQ guidelines for exposure limits in these early-life educational environments.. Young children, one of the most vulnerable population groups, spend most of their time at DCCs (up to 10 hours per day, 5 days per week, mostly indoors). Therefore, creating a healthy indoor environment for infants is important in DCCs. As one of the most health-relevant indoor air pollutants, the focus of this research is on the Particulate Matter (PM) that should be well-thought-out in DCCs.

    Korein kinderplein, Kropman

  • Building Teacher Leadership to Improve Social Studies Education

    prof. dr. Carla van Boxtel —Universiteit van Amsterdam

    Cluster question 065: What should education be like in the future?

    Universiteit Utrecht, Hogeschool Utrecht, Fontys Hogeschool Kind en Educatie

    An important task of primary schools is to develop students knowledge of the world. Through social studies, students learn to better understand and research the world around them, which equips them to participate in our multi-layered and democratic society and gives them a better understanding of their own identities. In addition, social studies education is of great importance for language development. Research shows that reading and writing skills largely depend on general world knowledge.

    However, the quality of social studies education is under severe pressure. We have identified several challenges, such as the need to improve the knowledge of the world among students, to address the upcoming curriculum renewal in terms of developing better learning lines, to make social studies education more relevant for students, and to link it to language development aims.

    The proposed research aims to develop teacher leadership in upper primary education so that teachers can function as ‘change agents’ i.e. become teachers who make a difference for their students and social studies education at their schools. The objectives are to develop: 1) a clear vision on social studies education and shared curricular leadership (school level); 2) evidence-based and innovative subject-specific pedagogic competences, competences in language-oriented education and the ability to make connections between school, home and the students resources (teacher level) and 3) powerful knowledge of the world, thinking and language skills, and insight into themselves (student level).

    This interdisciplinary partnership brings together teachers, teacher educators, experts in social studies education, language education and teacher leadership. On the basis of scientific knowledge, an exploration of the existing experience and knowledge of students and teachers (needs and context analysis), interventions will be developed to improve social studies education and teacher leadership (design and formative evaluation), which will eventually be scaled up to intervention studies (summative evaluation).

  • Towards a paradigm shift in education using virtual reality, intelligent tutoring systems, serious games and learning analytics

    Prof. dr. Max Louwerse — Tilburg University

    Cluster question: 065: What should education be like in the future?

    Despite the successes of national educational system, there is reason for concern: technology has hardly been implemented in the classroom, and the gap between the top- and bottom-performers in science, mathematics and reading widens. Virtual reality, serious games, intelligent tutoring systems and artificial intelligence offer new and exciting opportunities for education providing personalized training that is complementary to the school system. Core to a new vision includes personal empowerment, developing individual strengths and equality, nourishing curiosity, linking formal educational systems and everyday life, and embracing a digital world with the aim to develop a healthy and balanced lifepath. This vision requires several actions:

    • Making learning visible and empowering the individual to develop self-regulation skills.
    • Connecting authentic learning situations and everyday life with learning as continuous development.
    • Teaching as coaching students in their personal knowledge construction, supported by intelligent conversational agents and AI solutions
    • Assessing student performance non-intrusively and continuously, using sensing technologies and learning analytics to start interventions when needed, not post-hoc.

    The proposed project aims to address the broader issues pertaining to the challenges of todays education in a series of specific research questions.

    1. How can embodied conversational intelligent tutoring systems be developed that coach children interactively during their problem-solving activities?
    2. How can we design immersive learning environments in which students are unknowingly drawn to learn, exploring new avenues of interest?
    3. How can learning environments adapt to the individual learner, so that any learner gets a personalized learning experience, enabling self-regulated learning?
    4. How can we provide an optimal user experience using technologies that are affordable and accessible for all?
    5. How can formal and informal (science) education work together in the school curriculum, so that learning in and outside the classroom become complementary?

    Delft University of Technology; Erasmus University Rotterdam; Maastricht University; Open University; Eindhoven University of Technology; Breda University of Applied Sciences; SpaceBuzz Foundation

  • Reading with sense. Teaching literature inclusively.

    Prof. dr. Y. (Yra) van Dijk — Leiden University (LEI)

    Cluster question 065: What should education be like in the future?

    Children in Dutch high schools show dropping rates for achievement in reading. Moreover, scores for reading time, pleasure and motivation are alarmingly low. Since reading literary texts promotes empathy and recognition of difference, this implies that children, especially in the lowest school levels, are excluded from a crucial form of social, emotional and cognitive participation and from a cultural archive that is part and parcel of Dutch citizenship.

    This interdisciplinary project aims for a radical innovation in the way literary texts are taught in the Dutch school system. Building on recent educational debates and on meta-analyses of succesful international reading interventions, a new approach of literature for high schools (Vmbo, Havo, Vwo) and for teacher educational programs will be designed, implemented, and evaluated.

    We propose an attractive form of reading, called ‘inquisitive’: an analytical and hermeneutic process of seven stages. By comparing texts with contemporary issues, visual media, other contexts and languages, students learn to see relations between individuals and societies, and to address ethical and political questions in past and present. The objectives are both cognitive, social and cultural: to improve literacy, and to teach both students and teachers a more up-to-date form of reading literature as a dialogical, dynamic process of identification, appropriation, and cultural negotiation.

    Three breakthroughs are aimed for: First, fundamental knowledge about the effects of different teaching methods on literacy and reading motivation. Second, a

    new and online co-created method for teaching literary and ethical, esthetical, democratic and personal skills and finally, a societal breakthrough in a form of teaching literature inclusively to all schoolchildren, rather than only on the highest levels. The co-created method with a more diverse and attractive corpus of texts, will stimulate engagement in children of all levels and cultural backgrounds. To achieve this, we work with a consortium of stakeholders and an interdisciplinary team of scholars.

    Uitgeverij Blink, Nederlab, Stichting Leerplan Ontwikkeling, Internationale Vereniging van Neerlandistiek, Levende Talen, Taalunie, Stichting Lezen, Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds, Het Letterenfonds, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Literatuurmuseum, verschillende instellingen voor hoger en voortgezet onderwijs.

  • What’s Up? Virtual Reality screening to inform treatment for juvenile offenders

    Dr. H.E. (Hanneke) Creemers — University of Amsterdam (UvA), Forensic youth care sciences

    Cluster question 058: What are the patterns and causes of crime and how can we influence them?

    Yearly, over 25.000 juveniles (12-23) in the Netherlands are found guilty of committing crimes of various severity. Part of this group is referred for outpatient or residential treatment, ultimately aimed at reducing the risk of recidivism. This treatment should to be adjusted to the individual risk level, needs and responsivity (i.e. learning abilities, motivation) of a specific juvenile in order to be effective. Screening and diagnostics based on interviews, psychological instruments and case file analyses, including risk assessment, are generally used to determine risk level, needs and ability of clients. Yet, what remains underexposed in traditional screening and diagnostics, is how the juvenile actually feels, thinks and reacts when exposed to situations that may evoke antisocial behavior, rather than what the individual indicates to feel and do in an interview or self-report questionnaire.    

    To bridge this gap, we recently developed and piloted a virtual reality assessment (funded by an NWA Idea Generator grant), aimed at assessing various risk factors of delinquency, i.e. reactive and proactive aggression and precursors, cognitive distortions, self-control and cognitive flexibility. Because of its high ecological validity, virtual reality has the potential to evoke actual feelings, thoughts and behavior. By adding physiological measurements to the assessment, physiological reactions to specific situations are obtained, in addition to observable reactions and the youth’s reflections on the behavior. Adding physiological measurements enables the identification of biological factors underlying antisocial behavior, which may further guide diagnostics and treatment. The positive experiences in our feasibility study ask for further research and development in this area on a larger scale to optimize the screening  of juvenile offenders. This will contribute to improving treatment allocation, to ultimately reduce their risk to re-engage in criminal behavior.

    Utrecht University (UU); RJJI

  • Work it out! Optimizing Post-Divorce Family processes by Improving Parent Interventions Programs

    Bekijk hier de Powerpoint presentatie

    Dr. I.E. (Inge) van der Valk — Utrecht University (UU), Education and Pedagogy, Research Unit of Youth and Family

    Cluster question 059: How can we help children and adolescents grow up safe and healthy?

    Yearly, around 86.000 children in the Netherlands experience the divorce or separation of their parents. This constitutes a risk for their adjustment and development, particularly when divorce is accompanied by deteriorated quality of parenting and increased interparental conflicts. Especially so called high-conflict divorces are harmful for children, and they seem to be more common in parents with psychiatric-, personality-, and addiction problems. Further, they are overrepresented in family law, and interrelations have been found between divorce legislation and family functioning.    

    Although several prevention and intervention programs are offered for parents after divorce, knowledge about their effectiveness is entirely lacking. Moreover, there is no information about their active ingredients, and no target group differentiation. To address these shortcomings, a multi-method, interdisciplinary research approach will be applied, a.) examining which parental and interparental characteristics are linked to high-conflict divorces, and how they relate to post-divorce child adjustment; b.) reviewing effectiveness of existing intervention programs worldwide, in terms of parent and child outcomes, program characteristics, and instruments used; c.) assessing the effectiveness of existing Dutch parent programs, how they work, and for whom; d.) improving children’s role in the divorce process and in parent intervention programs, linked to their post-divorce adjustment, and safeguarding their rights in these contexts.

    Various research methods will be used, such as: meta-analyses, focus-groups with youth-care and legal professionals, target group consultation, and effect studies including method and modal comparisons and exploration of idiographic interventions.

    This project entails cooperation with family law, psychiatry, pedagogics, and psychology, and with clinical and legal practice. The overall aim is to improve integrated divorce support, in terms of differentiated and personalized interventions and improved interdisciplinary cooperation. Ultimately, we aim for tailored and effective divorce intervention programs that are ‘as light as possible, and as heavy as necessary’, to secure children’s development post-divorce.

    PROGRAMS: Ouderschap Blijft / Ouderschap na Scheiding / Schip-aanpak/ more options will be considered (e.g. ScheidingsAtlas, Triple P Transitions). OTHER ACADEMIC DISCIPLINES: Utrecht Family Law Department (Molengraaf Institute)/ UvA Forensic Child and Youth Care. HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONS: Sterk Huis/ Altra/ Jeugdformaat/ Child Welfare Council (RvdK)/ Elker/ Youk/ Juzt/ Horizon/ other options to be considered. Youth Policy: Dutch Youth Institute (NJi). Organizations yet to be approached: Psychiatry and / or Specialized mental health care organizations

  • The rise of new families: how can we help them flourish?

    Prof. dr. H.M.W. (Henny) Bos — University of Amsterdam (UvA); Research Institute of Child Development and Education

    Cluster question 059: How can we help children and adolescents grow up safe and healthy?

    The rise of new families: how can we help them flourish?

    Although many children are born and raised in a traditional nuclear family consisting of a heterosexual couple with biologically related children, nowadays around a third of all children in the Netherlands are raised in different family constellations (Staatscommissie Herijking Ouderschap, 2016). Some of these children are raised in new families, in which the parents used assisted reproductive technologies with sperm/egg donation and/or surrogacy, and as such represent a more fundamental shift away from traditional nuclear families (Golombok, 2020). Previous studies on two-mother, single-mother by choice, and mother-father families that used sperm donation showed that children in these families are developing well, but that donor conception is not without psychological implications (Visser, 2018). Parents have concerns about the bond between the child and the non-genetic parent, about how to inform their child about their genetic origin, about stigmatizing reactions of society. They also wish to receive counseling and support on these issues (Visser, 2018).  Less is known about gay father, transgender parent, and mother-father families who used a surrogacy procedure (with or without an egg donor). Especially there is a gap in knowledge about the development of children born after surrogacy, as well as on the counseling and support needs of all persons (parents, children, gamete donor, and surrogates) involved in this procedure. Therefore, we aim to investigate among these family types the family functioning (e.g., wellbeing, parenting, parent-child relationship, and child development), counseling and support needs of (prospective) parents, surrogates, gamete donors and children from a longitudinal perspective starting before conception. Empirical knowledge on these issues is highly needed to offer the best possible guidance to all involved people in (prospective) gay father, transgender parent, and mother-father families who used a surrogacy procedure.

    Amsterdam UMC

  • Effective healthy classrooms

    prof. W. (Wim) Zeiler — TU Eindhoven (TU/E)

    Cluster question 078: How does the built environment affect health and wellbeing?

    Unsatisfactory environmental conditions within classrooms can have both short & long-term health effects and can affect productivity or learning ability of pupils. There is a growing understanding about the importance of a healthy indoor environment. Especially the filtering out of fine dust particles PM2.5 and PM 1.0 is necessary to reduce the negative health effects on teachers and pupils on the long run. How to control the indoor conditions in relation to the outside and indoor pollution levels becomes crucial. The necessary insights in classroom ventilation in relation to sensors, data interpretation, trend signalling, continuous monitoring, fault detection & diagnosis as well as predictive maintenance needs to be developed.  This in such a way that it can be transformed into practical concepts for product development of air handling manufactures, air filter producers, control companies and installers.

    TUD, Ned Air, VLA, WOI, TVVL, Camfil, Lucas Onderwijs

  • Kansen in de Kindertijd

    Dr. B. (Bastian) Ravesteijn — Erasmus School of Economics (EUR)

    Cluster question 059: How can we help children and adolescents grow up safe and healthy?

    This NWA-ORC initiative aims to improve equality of opportunity in early childhood by integrating ‘big data’ into the delivery, evaluation, and development of preventive youth health care in the Netherlands. Early childhood investments lay the foundations for physical and mental health, knowledge and skills, wellbeing, and economic productivity over the life course. Our aim is is to integrate two key aspects of they way care and support to young children and their families are provided. First, no other country in the world has such a well-developed, nationally coordinated system of care and support for children as exists in the Netherlands. Especially between birth and adulthood, the Dutch Preventive Youth Health Care System (Jeugdgezondheidszorg, abbreviation JGZ) forms the key interface between families and care and support professionals. Before the age of four, these professionals will have had at least ten in-person interactions with nearly all children in the Netherlands. During these visits JGZ professionals will engage in screening, counseling, immunization, and behavioral and developmental assessments, as well as specific interventions and referrals to free specialist health care. And second, during these visits, an enormous wealth of data on child development and health is collected according to national guidelines. We will build a data infrastructure for the purpose of research and practical innovation. First, we will study, how, when, and where the opportunity gap in the Netherland opens up, and whether existing interventions reach the right families. Next, we will link JGZ data dat a wide range of administrative data sets on health, education and socio-economic outcomes to study the short- and long-term effects of existing programs, such as Voorzorg, Stevig Ouderschap, Samen Starten, standard JGZ activities, and Voor- en Vroegschoolse Educatie. We will investigate the heterogeneity of these effects by studying which types of children benefit most.

    UMCG; TNO; NCJ; UU; UvA; Verwey-Jonker Instituut, Amsterdam UMC

  • Child behavior through the eye of the beholder: towards reducing child maltreatment by improving child safety screening in families referred to child protection services

    prof. dr. J.J. (Jessica) Ascher, University of Amsterdam

    Cluster question: 059 How can we help children and adolescents grow up safe and healthy?

    Child protection services are yearly confronted with about 100.000 children and families in which child safety and thus healthy development is at risk. Crucial to make an estimation of the need to interfere in the child rearing situation via (threat of) civil law procedures and the treatment following in this trajectory is a valid and reliable estimation of child safety. To date, these estimations are based on actuarial risk assessment at best, combined with file information. None of these methods has proven to be sufficiently reliable or valid yet. The current study proposes to experiment with Virtual Reality screening in addition to risk assessment to better understand the cognitions of parents in families referred to child protection services in order to better understand estimate the risk level and child safety of children. To prevent these issues and identify the most crucial factors, I propose to add neurobiological and Virtual Reality assessments to traditional assessments. The former may expose neurobiological factors and mechanisms underlying the limited responsiveness to treatment; factors that should guide treatment allocation or be targeted in interventions (Reijman, 2015). Virtual reality (VR), in which virtual environments are used to present digitally recreated real world situations to children and parents, provides the opportunity to assess causal factors of maladaptation in situations that possess high ecological validity.