Are you interested in children’s self-views? And are you excited about using developmental science to better understand social problems?
We are looking for a motivated PhD candidate to study achievement inequality through the lens of children’s developing self-views. Achievement inequality is a defining problem of our time. Around the world, children from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds underperform in school relative to children from high-SES backgrounds, even when they have the same level of ability. This project, funded by an NWO Vidi grant, studies the critical role of children’s developing self-views in achievement inequality.
The project examines why children from lower SES backgrounds tend to develop negative views of themselves and their abilities, and how these negative self-views may subsequently perpetuate socioeconomic disparities in educational achievement and mental health (e.g., impostor feelings). To do so, this project will focus on the transactions between children and their teachers.
The PhD candidate will design and conduct research within this project. The PhD candidate will combine different research methods to identify the causes and consequences of teachers’ differential treatment of children from high- and low-SES backgrounds. For example, the candidate will conduct real-life observations and experimental studies on teacher-child interactions. In addition, the candidate will set up a longitudinal study (combined with experience sampling methods) to examine how teacher-chid interactions shape children’s self-views, motivation, and achievement across the transition from elementary to secondary school. The candidate will have the opportunity and autonomy to design their own research, together with their supervisors.
The PhD project will be part of Eddie Brummelman’s KiDLAB
, which is part of the Developmental Psychopathology programme group of the Research Institute of Child Development and Education at the University of Amsterdam. KiDLAB aims to create an inclusive environment for diverse students.
The project is approximately 5 years (58 months), for 30.4 hours per week (0.8fte). The latest possible starting date is September 1, 2024. If the candidate can start sooner, that is possible. You will be supervised by Dr. Eddie Brummelman (University of Amsterdam) and Dr. Stefanie Nelemans (Utrecht University). Your primary tasks will be
- Designing and conducting observational, experimental, and longitudinal studies in childhood;
- Integrating theories and methods from developmental psychology, social psychology, pedagogics, educational science, and sociology;
- Using advanced statistical methods to process and analyze data;
- Recruiting schools, teachers, parents, and children;
- Writing international peer-reviewed scientific papers;
- Working in a collaborative team;
- Presenting your work at conferences for academics, policy makers, and educators.