Current research projects

Reading for Learning

Texts are often used to teach children and adults new knowledge. In this project we investigate how properties of texts and reader characteristics together influence such learning from texts.

Fostering reading comprehension skills

This project focuses on the development of reading comprehension skills such as inference making during reading. We investigate these skills in both proficient and struggling readers, with the aim of developing interventions to improve comprehension in struggling children. In this project we combine behavioral methods with techniques such as eye-tracking and 3-D interactive reading.

Appropriate assessment and treatment of individuals with special educational needs. 

This project focuses on developing, improving and testing instruments to assess and remediate the major risk factors threating optimum healthy development of students with disabilities and special needs, viz. delays in psychosocial skills (e.g. lack of self-control, self-steering, and empathy) and learning impairments (e.g. lack of motivation and deficits in  executive functioning). The focus is further on testing the effects of special educational methods that aim to stimulate the psychosocial growth and learning potential of students with disabilities and special needs in inclusive en exclusive educational settings. The role of family risk and protective factors interacting with school factors is explicitly part of these studies.

Appropriate allocation of special educational needs services.

Teachers and professionals are often confused about how to teach and guide children with developmental disabilities and special educational needs appropriately. In collaboration with the VPI-consortium new tools are developed for schools to assess the special educational needs of children asking intensive educational attention from teachers, and to determine appropriate interventions to optimize cognitive and social-emotional development of these children. The tools will be tested and fine-tuned in a series of longitudinal studies.

Progress measures for secondary-school students: Reading and language learning

In a current project, we examine the psychometric properties of a 2-min reading probe called Maze-selection as an indicator of performance and progress in reading for secondary-school students. An online version of a progress monitoring system using maze-selection has been developed which enables teachers to administer the measures weekly. The measures are automatically scored and the scores set into a progress graph for each individual students. In related research we have developed progress measures for foreign language learning (English) and for learning Dutch as a second-language.

Understanding, interpretation, and use of data for decision-making

In this project, we explore teachers understanding, interpretation and use of data for educational decision making. We make use of eye-tracking and think-aloud methods.