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dr. E.C.M. van Rooij

Postdoctoraal onderzoeker
dr. E.C.M. van Rooij
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e.c.m.van.rooij rug.nl

2019 - 2022: Postdoc Project 'Life is Tough, But So are You': Enhancing Preservice Teachers' Resilience

Why do certain preservice teachers remain in the teacher education programme, enter the labour market and stay in the teaching profession, despite a high workload, a wide range of students’ needs they have to meet, and a low status of the profession? In research on teacher education, they are called resilient teachers: they bounce back after challenging or adverse situations but also thrive professionally and personally; resulting in, positive self-beliefs, wellbeing and commitment to the profession.

This study focuses on the role of teacher education in enhancing preservice teachers’ resilience. Teacher education generally consists of small-scale intensive education where much needs to be learned in a short period. Learning takes place at the institute and in schools during internships. This is challenging for preservice teachers, as they need to meet the requirements of the programme and the schools, and have to learn to balance these aspects. Our assumption is that building resilience is important for preservice teachers to maintain a positive sense of wellbeing.

Teacher educators recognize this need, but at the moment there are no substantial curricular practices to support preservice teachers’ resilience. We plan on addressing this challenge with the following goals: 1) to gain more insight in preservice teachers’ resilience and the strategies they use to enhance their resilience; 2) to gain more insight in how teacher education institutes or schools help students develop their resilience; 3) to develop a blended learning module that focuses on building resilience and implement the module in two teacher education institutes.

More information about this project is coming soon on our website thrive.gmw.rug.nl.

Follow our twitter account twitter.com/floreraar.

This research is funded by the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (NRO, 40.5.18650.036).

2017 - 2021: Postdoc Project Doctoral Success

Many PhD students drop out or face delays in completing their thesis. Moreover, mental health issues and dissatisfaction are prevalent problems. There is not much knowledge available yet as to which factors play an important role in explaining attrition, delay, mental health problems and dissatisfaction among PhD students. Therefore, in our research project 'Doctoral Success' ('Succesvol Promoveren'), we investigate what individual, contextual and psychosocial factors are related to a positive and successful PhD experience. The individual factors on which we focus are, among others, background (e.g., gender, nationality, discipline, type of PhD student) and personality characteristics. The contextual factors can be divided into characteristics of the project the PhD student is working on (e.g., stand-alone project or not, amount of freedom) and characteristics of supervision (e.g., availability of supervisors, amount and type of personal, academic and autonomy support). Examples of psychosocial factors we include in our research are academic and social integration and sense of belonging.

By obtaining insight into which aspects are (most) strongly related to doctoral success, we hope to contribute to increasing the international knowledge base on doctoral education and to provide supervisors, graduate schools and other people involved in doctoral education with useful recommendations on how to improve the PhD experience. 

2017 - 2019: Postdoc Project Motives for Becoming a Science Teacher

This project focuses on the reasons why science students do or do not choose to pursue a teacher education programme during their bachelor studies. Since the high school teacher shortage in science subjects is a serious problem, it is crucial to gain insight in factors such as motivation, self-efficacy, career aspirations, and conceptions of the teaching profession, and how they impact on a student’s choice for a teacher degree.

2013 - 2017: PhD Project University Readiness

My PhD project focuses on the transition from secondary school to university, as many first-year students face problems adjusting to university education, which  leads to drop-out or delay for a substantial number of them. The main goal of my research is to investigate what psychological and behavioural factors that are already present in students while they are in secondary education contribute to a successful transition and subsequent academic success in university.

My research consists of five studies.

1)     The first study is a systematic, narrative review of predictors of first-year students’ achievement and persistence in higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders. There are international reviews on the topic of student success in the first year of higher education, but the question is whether these international results are representative for the specific educational context in the Netherlands and Flanders. This study is a collaboration with the University of Antwerp.

2)     The second study investigates what factors contribute to secondary school students’ self-efficacy in being a successful university student. As international reviews show that academic self-efficacy is an influential predictor of achievement in higher education, students who are already highly self-effacious at the end of secondary school likely experience a better transition to university. In this study we use structural equation modelling to investigate what personality, motivational and behavioural variables influence students’ self-efficacy.

3)     In the third study we use latent profile analysis to distinguish secondary school students based on measures of student engagement (behavioural engagement, cognitive engagement, and intellectual engagement) and investigate whether these different groups of students also differ in their success in university. In order to do so, we follow a group of secondary school students from grade 12 through the first year of university.

4)     In the fourth study we use a qualitative approach to investigate secondary school teachers’ beliefs and practices regarding university preparation. This will give us insight into the cognitive mechanisms that underlie classroom practices and possible barriers that may cause teachers not to pay attention to university preparation.

5)     The last study focuses on the first year in university, specifically on the role of academic adjustment in explaining first-year students achievement and intention to persist. A structural equation model is tested that also takes into account academic motivation, self-regulated study behaviour, degree programme satisfaction and some background variables.


Laatst gewijzigd:09 september 2019 10:10

Contact information

Grote Kruisstraat 2/1
9712 TS Groningen
The Netherlands