Sorry! De informatie die je zoekt, is enkel beschikbaar in het Engels.
This programme is saved in My Study Choice.
Something went wrong with processing the request.
Something went wrong with processing the request.

Elsje van Bergen elected as Jacobs Foundation Research Fellow

13 February 2023
Associate Professor Elsje van Bergen from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam studies the causes and consequences of individual differences between children in learning at school. She combines theories and methods from psychology, education, and genetics to investigate the complex interplay between genetic predispositions and environmental experiences on educational outcomes.

Van Bergen argues that we need basic science, including educational genetics, to pinpoint which levers of environmental change to pull to help children fulfil their educational potential. She has been elected as a Jacobs Foundation Research Fellow for the years 2023-2025.

Van Bergen: “Children differ in how easily they learn at school. During my Fellowship, I aim to increase our understanding of which aspects of the home learning environment causally impact children’s motivation and literacy and numeracy development. This will help policymakers to support families and organize education in such a way all kids can learn and flourish.”

Cause and effect? 
Children who do well in school typically have parents who played counting games and read to them. The opposite is true for children from less stimulating homes. Although this association between parents’ behaviour and children’s outcomes has been seen as cause and effect, it is important to acknowledge that parents provide their children with more than just a nurturing environment – they also provide them with their genes. Van Bergen: “Only when we account for genetics or conduct an experiment can we determine the causal impacts of the home learning environment. The home learning environment is a term used for features in the home that foster children’s learning, such as reading story books, teaching letters, or playing math games.”

Jacobs Foundation Research Fellows
The Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowship Programme, based in Zurich (Switzerland), is a globally competitive fellowship programme for highly talented and innovative early and mid-career researchers whose work is dedicated to improving the learning and development of children and youth worldwide. Van Bergen is one of 13 new fellows, who come from various disciplines and countries.

Elsje van Bergen
Elsje van Bergen obtained her PhD at the University of Amsterdam, was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford and is currently associate professor at Biological Psychology, the Netherlands Twin Register, and LEARN!, all at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Van Bergen was also recently awarded an ERC Starting Grant