About me

I am an associate professor in education economics, and acting head of department at the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), Maastricht University.

My main research interests are in education economics and labour economics and inequality. I have done quite some work on the effectiveness of ICT-tools in education, parental involvement in education, efficiency of education, and the effectiveness of education and labour market policies.

I am the project leader of several evaluation studies in education, focusing on topics such as the effectiveness of ICT-tools in secondary education for math and literacy, the effectiveness of summer schools, and active labour market policies, such as retraining programmes.

I am responsible for the coordination of the University Teaching Qualification (in Dutch: BKO) for the Faculty of Science and Engineering (formerly Faculty of Humanities and Science) of Maastricht University and I am educational director of the Master of Evidence Based Innovation in Teaching (MEBIT, 60 ECTS), a research oriented master for teachers. Furthermore, I am the coordinator of the research methods course and the statistics course of the MEBIT.

Research Statement

My research aims to understand differences in performance in secondary education, both at the school and the student level. Within this coordinating topic, I focus on three major research lines: 1) evaluation of ICT focused interventions in education, 2) effects of differences in socioeconomic background of students and parents and inequality, and 3) efficiency and productivity of educational institutes.

1) How can ICT in education effectively be used and what is the role of the teacher and the parents in this? Are all types of ICT as effective for all types of students and outcomes? Several of my papers and publications are devoted to this theme [9, 10, 13, 15, 18, 19, 21, B2, WiP3, WiP5, WP4] and I am currently doing another study on the effect of using gesticulations videos as part of computer based training when learning words at a young age.

2) (How) Can differences in socioeconomic background of either the student(s) and/or the parents explain differences in educational outcomes, and how can we make sure to include students and parents from all backgrounds in the same way in the educational process. I have written several papers on this topic [11, 14, 21, WiP6, WiP9, WiP12, WiP13], and I am currently working on research proposals that focus on ways to effectively include parents more in the educational process, with a specific focus of parents from a lower socioeconomic background.

3) How productive and efficient are schools, given the resources (finances) that they receive and the student body that they have, and can characteristics of the school and students, and the choices they make regarding new innovations in education explain differences in efficiency and productivity? I wrote my PhD-thesis on this topic and have written more papers on this ever since [B1, 1, 3-7, 12, 17, WiP8]. The focus on the type of student body (disadvantaged students) is related to the second research line on socioeconomic background of students.