We are looking for two PhD candidates to study achievement inequality from a developmental-psychological perspective. Achievement inequality is one of the most defining problems of our time. Around the world, children from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds underperform in school relative to children from higher SES backgrounds, even when they have the same level of ability.
This project, funded by an NWO Vidi grant awarded to Eddie Brummelman, studies the critical role of children's self-views in achievement inequality. The project examines why children from lower SES backgrounds often develop negative views of themselves and their abilities, and how these negative self-views can perpetuate socioeconomic disparities in educational achievement and mental health. To do so, this project will focus on the transactions between children and their teachers.
The overarching project consist of two research projects:
In research project 1, the first PhD candidate will conduct real-life observations and experimental studies on teacher-child interactions. The goal is to identify whether and how teachers provide differential treatment to children from lower versus higher SES backgrounds.
In research project 2, the second PhD candidate will conduct virtual reality (VR) experiments in virtual classrooms. The goal is to identify the causal effects of teachers' differential treatment on children's self-views, motivation, and achievement.
Across projects 1 and 2, the candidates will together conduct a longitudinal measurement burst study in a socioeconomically diverse sample. The goal is to examine how teacher-chid interactions shape children's self-views, motivation, and achievement across the transition from elementary to secondary school.
The PhD project will be part of Eddie Brummelman's lab group, which is part of the Developmental Psychopathology programme group of the Research Institute of Child Development and Education at the University of Amsterdam.
Both projects are 5-year projects, each for 30.4 hours per week (0.8fte). The expected starting date is July 1, 2023, or September 1, 2023.What are you going to do
We are looking for two PhD students to study the developing self and achievement inequality.Your primary tasks will be:
- Designing and conducting studies on the developing self and achievement inequality in childhood;
- Integrating theories and methods from various disciplines, including developmental psychology, social psychology, pedagogics, and sociology;
- Using advanced statistical methods to process and analyze data;
- Writing international peer-reviewed scientific papers;
- Working in a collaborative team to improve one another's research;
- Presenting your work at conferences for academics, policy makers, and educators.