Bert van Oers

Bert van Oers
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam | VU · Faculty of behavioural and movement sciences. Dept. Research and Theory of Education

PhD

About

197
Publications
104,865
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Introduction
Bert van Oers is emeritus professor in Cultural-Historical Theory of Education at the Faculty of behavioural and movement sciences. Dept. Research and Theory of Education, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Bert does research in Pedagogic Theory, Pre-school Education and Primary Education, particularly in the domains of beginning literacy, beginning mathematising, and music. He was one of the founders of Developmental Education in the Netherlands.
Additional affiliations
May 1978 - present
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • Professor Cultural-historical Theory of Education

Publications

Publications (197)
Article
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In this literature review, we evaluate the learning outcomes of Developmental Education (DE) in The Netherlands. This CHAT-based teaching approach has been around for over 30 years and is constantly being developed in collaboration between teachers, teacher educators and researchers. Although outcomes of this approach are evaluated in educational p...
Conference Paper
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We analyzed the lessons of three pre-service primary school teachers (PSTs) who taught a lesson about informal statistical inference (ISI). These PSTs participated in a teacher college intervention. We investigated the appropriateness of their ISI knowledge when teaching to primary school students an ISI lesson provided by their teacher educator. U...
Article
Teacher Efficacy (TE) refers to teachers’ confidence in their ability to promote student’s learning. Research shows that generalist teachers’ TE for music education is generally low, with many teachers associating music education with innate musical talents – a problem exacerbated by music education programmes that focus on singing or playing instr...
Article
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If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants' (Isaac Newton, 1676). Wanneer je de traditie kent waarin je staat, zie je meer. Dit geldt ook voor professionals die met het jonge kind werken. Op welke onderwijstheorieën berust jouw werk? Aan welke pedagogen ben jij schatplichtig? Op wiens schouders sta jij? In deze serie geven...
Article
Full-text available
The aims of the present study were to design and implement an intervention focused on dialogic classroom talk in early childhood education and to evaluate what it may contribute to children’s oral communicative competence. Together with four teachers we developed and implemented an ecologically valid intervention that supports teachers to use sever...
Article
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RESUMO O objetivo deste artigo é explorar como alunos e professores utilizaram postagens em cinco grupos no Facebook e como a argumentação surgiu como uma atividade comunicativa. Para entender tal processo argumentativo, este estudo está baseado na Teoria da Atividade Sócio-Histórico-Cultural (TASCH), e sob uma perspectiva metodológica que possibil...
Article
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The aim of this paper is to explore how students and teachers used posts in five groups on Facebook and how argumentation emerged as a communicative activity. For understanding such argumentative process, this study is framed in the Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT), with a methodological perspective that enables the participants to act as...
Article
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In this article, we reflect on the contribution of cultural historical theory for the innovation and improvement of educational practice in the Netherlands. As a first step, we will show how different narratives about good education are constructed and passed on in educational discourse. Next, we will discuss the characteristics of a cultural histo...
Article
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The ability to reason inferentially is increasingly important in today’s society. It is hypothesized here that engaging primary school students in informal statistical reasoning (ISI), defined as making generalizations without the use of formal statistical tests, will help them acquire the foundations for inferential and statistical thinking. Teach...
Article
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Musical play is an activity in which young children more or less freely explore and create with sound with limited guidance from a teacher. This study explored the occurrence of musical play in Dutch early years education (4–5 year olds). Twenty early years classroom teachers were interviewed about the content of the music education taking place in...
Article
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Being rejected by peers has devastating consequences for a child’s future social-cognitive development. It is therefore important to investigate factors that contribute to childhood peer rejection. In doing so, the present review specifically focused on sociometric status, a concept that refers to a child’s position within the peer group (e.g., lik...
Article
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The aims of this article are to document the types of signs that young children make to represent their mathematical thinking, and to determine the extent to which features of usage-based language acquisition are evident in children’s early graphical communications made in mathematical contexts. Studies of young children’s symbolic principles in on...
Article
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Language ability plays a major role in children’s future development. In the present study, the effect of three interactive reading approaches on children’s language ability was investigated through a pre-posttest design. Participants were N = 73 children (aged 4-6) from three early childhood education classrooms. Classrooms were assigned to one of...
Article
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Rejection by peers has devastating effects on children’s social-cognitive development. As language difficulties have been found to be one of the underlying causes of peer rejection, the present study focused on the relation between these two variables. Specifically, this study was the first to test a hypothesized model connecting children’s level o...
Article
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The aim of this paper is to explore how secondary school students’ agency evolves over time across offline and online spaces. We focus on five Facebook groups of teachers and students interacting in various ways online over a period of eighteen months. Combining a variety of innovative analytical techniques and procedures (descriptive statistics, n...
Article
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Popular, rejected, neglected, controversial, or average: Do young children of different sociometric groups differ in their level of oral communicative competence? Children’s sociometric status refers to their position within the peer group and plays a major role in their future social-cognitive development. It is therefore important to investigate...
Chapter
It can be argued that the appropriation of academic concepts provides students with powerful tools for understanding and improving their life conditions. Since the works of Davydov in the 1970s on the formation of scientific concepts in primary school children, studies on meaningful education debated how academically approved subject matter knowled...
Article
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Voor Paulien Cornelisse (2009) is taal zeg maar echt haar ding. In haar theatervoorstellingen gebruikt zij bijvoorbeeld taal om het publiek een spiegel voor te houden of om een boodschap over te brengen. De taalvaardigheid van Cornelisse stelt haar in staat om taal in verschillende situaties te gebruiken om haar communicatieve doelen te bereiken. I...
Article
De sociometrische status van kinderen verwijst naar hun sociale positie in de groep en speelt een belangrijke rol in hun toekomstige sociaal-cognitieve ontwikkeling. Het is daarom belangrijk om te onderzoeken welke factoren daaraan gerelateerd zijn. Hoewel eerder onderzoek laat zien dat mondelinge communicatieve competentie een van deze factoren is...
Chapter
Researchers have recently started focusing on the development of informal statistical inference (ISI) skills by primary school students. However, primary school teachers generally lack knowledge of ISI. In the literature, the growing samples heuristic is proposed as a way to learn to reason about ISI. The aim of this study was to explore pre-servic...
Article
Full-text available
In dit onderzoek is de relatie tussen pragmatische taalvaardigheid en sociale acceptatie in de kleuterklas onderzocht. Daarnaast is gekeken of deze relatie verschillend is voor jongens en meisjes. Aan het onderzoek deden 447 kinderen in de leeftijd van vier tot zes jaar mee. Pragmatische taalvaardigheid, de vaardigheid om taalgebruik aan te passen...
Article
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Teachers who engage primary school students in informal statistical inference (ISI) must themselves have good content knowledge of ISI (ISI-CK). However, little is known about how college education for pre-service teachers can contribute to the development of their ISI-CK. To address this shortcoming, we used a case study to investigate ISI-CK deve...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the current research project, we aimed to design and implement an intervention focused on the promotion of dialogic classroom talk in early childhood education, and to evaluate what it contributes to children's oral communicative abilities. Several studies have shown the great potential of dialogic classroom talk for students' subject-matter lea...
Article
Full-text available
Children’s sociometric status refers to their position within the peer group and plays a major role in their future social development. It is therefore important to investigate factors that are related to it. To date, little attention has been paid to the potential role of oral communicative competence. The present study investigated sociometric gr...
Article
Full-text available
The present study investigated the relation between oral communicative competence and peer rejection in early childhood education, as well as gender differences in this relation. Participants were N = 447 children aged 4-6 years. Children’s level of oral communicative competence was measured using the Nijmegen Test for Pragmatics and a sociometric...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this presentation, we aim to show how dialogic classroom talk in early childhood classrooms might contribute to the development of young children’s dialogical capacities and self. Reasoning from Vygotsky’s cultural-historical activity theory and Dialogical Self Theory, we will argue that dialogic classroom talk gives children creative spaces of...
Book
Kinderen spelen graag. Spel is een onlosmakelijk deel van hun leven en het is van grote waarde voor leren en ontwikkeling, ook op school! Dit boek geeft leerkrachten (in opleiding) inzicht in de meerwaarde van spel voor het leren en de ontwikkeling van alle kinderen op de basisschool. Spelactiviteiten geven kinderen de mogelijkheid om vanuit betr...
Article
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LUISTEREN NAAR KLEUTERS. HOE KIJKEN ZIJ AAN TEGEN DE SCHOOL EN HET ONDERWIJS? Kleuters hebben net als hun leraren opvattingen over de bedoelingen van school en wat zich daar afspeelt. Het is goed als leraren die opvattingen kennen, want er kunnen problematische situaties ontstaan wanneer die niet overeenstemmen met hun eigen opvattingen. De vraag...
Article
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The appropriateness of innovative educational concepts for students from a low socioeconomic status (SES) or ethnic minority background is sometimes called into question. Disadvantaged students are supposed to benefit more from traditional approaches with Programmatic Instruction (PI). We examined Developmental Education (DE), an innovative approac...
Article
Full-text available
This study builds on recent research into young children’s pretend play. Social literacy practices and events in which children engaged were investigated to reveal features of their meaning making. Drawing on Vygotsky’s view of the social nature of symbol use and writing, it stresses the significance of cultural and social features of meanings and...
Article
Inquiry-based education receives much attention in educational practice and theory, since it provides pupils and teachers with opportunities to actively engage in collaboratively answering questions. However, not only do many teachers find this approach demanding, it also remains unclear what they should do to foster this type of education in their...
Article
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School is one of the important educational practices, in which children are actively involved. When we want to contribute to the development of young children’s voices, we need deeper insight into the way children act as they do. Therefore, we have to distinguish how young children’s voices are composed, as we proclaim that all voices are essential...
Article
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Chapter
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In this chapter, we aim to show how dialogic classroom talk in early childhood classrooms might contribute to the development of a dialogical self that is capable of dealing with diversity. Reasoning from Vygotsky’s cultural-historical activity theory and Dialogical Self Theory, we will argue that dialogic classroom gives children creative spaces o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
When one observes a classroom conversation in a typical classroom, one will probably notice that the teacher asks the questions, talks more than the children, and is mainly focused on the reproduction of cultural meanings. Although these monologic forms of classroom talk have their importance for the transmission of (cultural) knowledge to successi...
Poster
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In dit onderzoek zijn sociometrische groepsverschillen in het niveau van communicatieve taalvaardigheid onderzocht. Bij 570 kleuters (4-6 jaar) is de sociometrische status in kaart gebracht met behulp van een sociogram. De Nijmeegse Pragmatiek Test is gebruikt om het niveau van communicatieve taalvaardigheid te meten. De resultaten van een tweeweg-...
Article
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This article describes an intervention – the MODEL2TALK intervention – that aims to promote young children’s oral communicative competence through productive classroom talk. Productive classroom talk provides children in early childhood education with many opportunities to talk and think together. Results from a large-scale study show that producti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Onderzoek laat zien dat het voeren van dialogische gesprekken een positief effect heeft op het leren van kinderen, redeneervaardigheden, leermotivatie en taalvaardigheid. Het is dan ook opvallend dat in veel klassen het overgrote deel van de interactie nog altijd monologisch is, waarbij het gesprek wordt gestuurd door de leerkracht, met een focus o...
Article
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Guest edited special issue on classroom dialogue and learning outcomes
Article
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The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of productive classroom talk and metacommunication on the development of young children’s oral communicative competence and subject matter knowledge. This study can be characterized as a quasi-experimental study with a pre-test-intervention-post-test design. A total of 21 teachers and 469 c...
Article
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Sociocultural theories based on the work of Vygotsky have been increasingly influential in educational sciences. Developmental education (DE) is a pedagogical approach based on Vygotskian theory that has inspired primary schools in the Netherlands to change the learning environment innovatively in a comprehensive way. In this article, we focus on t...
Article
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The goal of this special issue is to examine how certain modes of classroom dialogue might contribute to students' learning outcomes. The articles in this special issue share the idea of classroom talk as a problem-oriented dialogue. In other words, an interactional configuration based on exchanges among students and teachers that go beyond the pre...
Article
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Dynamic Assessment (DA) has received a considerable amount of attention in the educational sciences and beyond. DA combines instruction or feed- back with assessment or testing within a single activity. DA has great potential for classroom practices but has not been implemented in many classrooms yet. In this article we argue that teacher educators...
Article
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This study explores the use of Facebook for educational purposes, as a collaborative online space for enabling communication among teachers from different schools. The article describes how a group of 43 teachers on Facebook, from various schools in the southeast region of Brazil used a group on Facebook as a collaborative space for communicating a...
Article
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This study investigated gender differences in the relationship between oral communicative competence and peer rejection in early childhood education. It was hypothesized that children with poorer oral communicative competence would be more often rejected by their peers and that the strength of this relationship would differ for boys and girls. A sa...
Article
In many science education practices, students are expected to develop an understanding of scientific knowledge without being allowed a view of the practices and cultures that have developed and use this knowledge. Therefore, students should be allowed to develop scientific concepts in relation to the contexts in which those concepts are used. Since...
Article
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Настоящее исследование посвящено анализу использования Фейсбука в образовательных целях, в качестве онлайн площадки для укрепления взаимодействия между учителями из разных школ. В работе описано, как группа из 43 преподавателей в юго-восточном регионе Бразилии использовали созданную на Фейсбуке группу для общения друг с другом. В этой группе учител...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reports on how teachers, from different cities in Brazil, used groups on Facebook and how communication between teachers and students was affected by using such groups. This study is framed under the Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) perspective, and is conceived from a methodological background that invites participants to coll...
Article
Content-oriented reading interventions that focus on the integration of motivational enhancement and strategy instruction have been found to have positive effects. Developmental education (DE) in the Netherlands is an innovative content-oriented approach in which reading is an integral part of an inquiry-oriented curriculum. Reading for meaning is...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Informal statistical inference (ISI) plays an important role in understanding statistical concepts. Research shows, however, that many teachers lack knowledge of ISI. In the literature the growing samples heuristic is proposed as a way to learn ISI. It is unknown how the growing samples heuristic supports the development of ISI reasoning skills of...
Presentation
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of productive classroom talk on the development of young children’s oral communicative competence (OCC). This study can be characterized as a quasi-experimental study with a pre-test-intervention-post-test design. Multilevel analyses of children’s OCC-scores indicated that our intervention had a m...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In dit onderzoek is de relatie tussen pragmatische taalvaardigheid en sociale acceptatie bij kleuters onderzocht. Bij 447 kleuters (4-6 jaar) is de pragmatische taalvaardigheid gemeten met de Nijmeegse Pragmatiek Test en de mate van sociale acceptatie is in kaart gebracht met behulp van een sociogram. De resultaten lieten een positief verband zien...
Article
Full-text available
Background. School is one of the environments children are engaged in from an early age. For a better understanding of how this specific environment affects young (aged 5 to 6) children’s learning and development, it is important to know children’s personal ideas about this environment. Objectives. We raise the following question: what is the conte...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study is to uncover the emergence of cultural mathematical understandings and communications in young children's spontaneous pretend play. It is based on Vygotskian cultural-historical perspectives and social-semiotic theory, informed by research into ‘funds of knowledge' and considers how children's informal knowledge of family pra...
Article
Full-text available
MODEL2TALK is een onderzoek van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam naar het verbeteren van de gesprekskwaliteit met kleuters. In dit artikel beschrijven de onderzoekers hoe leerkrachten eenvoudige gesprekstools kunnen inzetten die kinderen uitdagen om te praten, echt te luisteren, te redeneren en samen te denken. Dit levert een gesprekscultuur op waar...
Conference Paper
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of productive classroom talk and metacommunication on the development of young children’s oral communicative competence. This study can be characterized as a quasi-experimental study with a pre-test-intervention-post-test design. A total of 21 teachers and 469 children participated in this...
Article
Full-text available
In inquiry, dialogue between persons present in the classroom can be enriched with polylogue with knowledgeable others outside the classroom. This study aimed to find out what role dialogue and polylogue play in encouraging philosophical inquiry in three other forms of inquiry in primary education: consulting sources, inquiry of practices, and inqu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Little is known how to teach statistics to primary school student teachers. From research outside teacher education we know that one way to teach conceptual understanding of statistics is to let students learn to make informal statistical inferences (ISI). ISI is defined as the process of making generalizations beyond the data collected without the...
Article
Full-text available
Since concepts may have different meanings in different contexts, students have to learn to recontextualise them, i.e. to adapt their meanings to a new context. It is unclear, however, what characteristics a learning and teaching strategy for recontextualising should have. The study aims to develop such a learning and teaching strategy for cellular...
Article
Listening to young children’s voices is an issue with increasing relevance for many researchers in the field of early childhood research. At the same time, teachers and researchers are faced with challenges to provide children with possibilities to express their notions, and to find ways of comprehending children’s voices. In our research we aim to...
Chapter
In this chapter, I will unfold an approach to early mathematics education based on a theory of playful activity, drawing from the perspective of cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT/Vygotskij). From this perspective, I will demonstrate how direct instruction of mathematical operations can be reconciled with productive mathematical problem solv...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we will further conceptualize the concept of revoicing. Our main goal is to understand its value for studying shared thinking in classroom conversations. In the ‘90s, O’Connor and Michaels studied classroom practices of teachers that were able to establish productive conversations with children. Revoicing was one of the talk tools th...