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About us Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences

Professor Robert E. Slavin

Honorary doctor in Behavioral and Social Sciences, University of Groningen, 2014

On Friday the 13th of June, 2014, Robert Slavin, Professor at the Institute for Effective Education of the University of York and Director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore), will receive an honorary doctorate of the University of Groningen, on the occasion of the University’s 400th anniversary. Honorary doctorates are awarded to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to society, academia or politics.

Empowering educators with evidence

Professor Slavin is committed to enabling schools to provide high quality education, so that all children get the opportunity to reach their full potential. In order to reach this aim, he has published numerous best evidence syntheses on the effectiveness of educational practices in the most prestigious journals in the field. On the website best evidence encyclopedia, he published publicly available reviews on educational programs and their effects. In addition, he designed the comprehensive educational program Success for All, which is based on empirical knowledge of factors enhancing educational quality. Robert Slavin is an engaged academic with close connection to the classroom, as he illustrates himself by stating: “writings on evidence-based practice often sound a little dry, full of effect sizes and wonkiness. Yet all of those effect sizes and policy proposals mean nothing unless they are changing the lives of children.” (Huffington Post, blog April 10, 2013).

roel bosker

"Teach as you preach! Bob Slavin does not only preach a more evidence based approach, he also practices it widely himself.”
Professor Roel Bosker

400 jaar RUG

Program June 2014

The University’s anniversary co-occurs with the anniversary of the department of Educational Sciences and GION, Groningen Institute for Educational Research, who celebrate their 50 year existence at the annual ORD conference on educational research, to be held in Groningen June 11 to 13. Professor Slavin is an honorary guest and keynote speaker at this conference.

More information about the time and topic of his lecture will follow. The honorary doctorate ceremony will take place after the conference, on Friday, June 13.


Robert E. Slavin

Robert Slavin is co-founder of the whole-school reform strategy Success for All, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Research and Reform in Education and director of the Institute for Effective Education at the University of York. He is one of the most widely cited authors in the field of educational sciences.


Slavin’s research is aimed at studying the effectiveness of educational practices and educational programs, originating from the conviction that educational interventions and policy should be based on empirical evidence. He studied among others effective ways of using cooperative learning and grouping and of the Success for All program. He has conducted several evaluations, amongst which some used large scale cluster randomized controlled trials. Slavin advocates the use of best evidence syntheses, in which studies on a certain topic that meet rigorous methodological criteria are combined into a meta-analysis, while taking into account the relative quality of all the individual studies. This way, the best studies provide the strongest evidence on the effectiveness of the educational practice at hand.

Professor Robert E. Slavin passed away on 24 april 2021 at the age of 70. (In Memoriam)

Further reading

  • Best Evidence Encyclopedia, BEE: an overview of educational programs and their effects as indicated by empirical research
  • Robert Slavin’s most recent book: the 10th edition of the widely used university course book Educational Psychology. Slavin, R. E. (2012). Educational psychology: Theory into practice (10th Ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Robert Slavin’s Curriculum Vitae:
  • Robert Slavin’s blog at the Huffington Post
Last modified:04 May 2021 12.10 p.m.
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