Expertiselab 'Leergemeenschap Slotervaart'

All children deserve the chance to discover their ambitions, to develop their talents and to realize their dreams. However, for many young people in cities, school culture clashes with machismo, street mentality and street culture. Though introspection, self-expression and personal development are increasingly important in the Dutch school system, these same schools have proven to be less than successful in transferring key competences, socially accepted behaviour and attitudes to their pupils. As a consequence, many of these (former) pupils are now struggling, economically and socially, to become and/or remain full-fledged members of society.    

The ‘Leergemeenschap Slotervaart’ focuses on strengthening an inspiring and inclusive school culture for the schools involved. That way, pupils can develop and climb the school ladder. As a result, not only will their motivation grow and their results improve, but they will feel more at home at their school and their social development will be improved. This, in turn, will strengthen the effect that education has on helping pupils climb the social ladder successfully.  

Within the ‘Leergemeenschap Slotervaart’, scientists of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the VU work with ‘MBO college West (ROC van Amsterdam)’, the Mundus College (Espritscholen)’, one havo/vwo school and the elementary school ‘El Kadisia (El Emel)’ in the Slotervaart district of Amsterdam. Together, these schools form a continuous line (primary education – secondary education- vocational/higher education) which enables research interventions more thoroughly and more effectively.

The Expertise Lab focuses on observation of group dynamics in the class room, analyzes the effective patterns of educational-didactical behaviour of teachers and provides them with direct feedback. That way, scientific analyses will be immediately transferred to daily practice. Ultimately, the ‘Leergemeenschap’ becomes an instrument in the search for answers to societal problems like segregation by education, polarization, (lack of) diversity and equal opportunity in a metropolitan context.  

  • What ingredients and mechanisms in pupils' worlds enable them to successfully climb the school ladder?
  • What ingredients and mechanisms enable schools to let pupils climb the school ladder?  
  • How do the answers to the questions mentioned above shape how societal resilience is embedded on the policy level of, for example, a school administration? 

The Institute for Societal Resilience is primarily responsible for the execution of the ‘Leergemeenschap’. Dr. Illias el Hadioui functions as project leader, professor Maurice Crul and dr. Marieke Slootman are also involved in this study.