Early Childhood

The professorship Early Childhood focuses on the competence of students and professionals in education. The research group focuses mainly on the brain development of young children and the influence it has on the design of education and teaching. Important themes include: vision development around the continuous line of development, issues around the transition from to the early childhood period and from group 2 to group 3, process-oriented work in education and training and the care chain. By conducting research into these issues, we acquire knowledge, insight and skills regarding the development and learning of young children. Through research and education, the research group contributes to innovations within the field of development and learning of young children in education and training.

    We search for innovative solutions to practical issues. With a focus on the process and results.

Who are we?

The research group focuses on three research themes: the continuous line 'development and learning of young children', 'awakening literacy', but in a different way, and 'problems in dealing with young children'. Bachelor and Master students (hbo and wo), teachers and lecturers, but also directors, school and city councils and developers can develop themselves into inquisitive and innovative professionals. The research lines will be elaborated in workshops and PhD projects.


The professorship Early Childhood carries out all kinds of research projects. A few examples:

  • Emerging literacy, but then different
  • Internalising and externalising behaviour of young children in the group.
  • How are behaviour and the (social-emotional) development of children mapped and reported? Do teachers use observation methods? If so, which? If not, how is this done?
  • How do primary schools cooperate with child and pre-school care in the field of VVE programmes when it comes to the continuous line of development and learning of young children aged 2-8? An investigation into the quality of the process.
  • How does the school give shape to 'a powerful learning environment'? How does the teacher attune his actions to the involvement of the young child?
  • How do primary school teachers deal with the pressure from their environment to organise education differently than they consider responsible from their own expertise?
  • Specialising in young children at the primary school: training together and professionalising the primary school work field together.

Curious about more of our work? View an overview of the publications of the Early Childhood chair (pdf).

Network and education

We build an extensive network of people from the field that thinks along with us. We set up research teams in which we do research together with students, schools and teachers. Are you studying at one of the PABOs of NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences and are you interested in the development of young children, then you can also participate.

An important task of our research group is to develop the specialisation young child (2-8 years). Together with ECNO, the research, training and consultancy office of NHL Stenden, we develop consultancy programmes and courses for the staff of primary schools. But also for the Pabos of NHL Stenden. As a student, you will certainly come across the subject of early childhood in your study programme. The research group has worked intensively on the realisation of the post-higher education Specialist of the Young Child. This course started in 2014 at the Paboss in Groningen and Leeuwarden.

Knowledge Circle Team

The research group has a professor Dr Ineke Oenema-Mostert. She is the head of the research group. The research group also consists of lecturers from the Education Research Group of NHL Stenden and researchers from the field.

Team members

  • Dr. Ineke Oenema - Mostert
  • Dr Arda Oosterhof
  • Natasja de Kroon
  • Dr Frans Hiddink
  • Drs. Crista Casu
  • Drs Jildou Fokma
  • Joke Scheffer
  • Tim Jonkman
  • Petra van der Hauw


NHL Stenden University
Research group Education
P.O. Box 1298
Rengerslaan 8-10
8900 CG Leeuwarden

Sustainable Development Goals

This professorship contributes to...