That was the topic for discussion at a recent event in The Netherlands to launch a new book, ‘The Dutch Way’, from our education researchers, Professor Alma Harris and Dr Michelle Jones, based in our Department of Education.

The event, attended by policy-makers including the Dutch Minister of Education and Secretary of State for Education along with school leaders and teachers, was an opportunity to talk in more detail about the main findings of the research on which the new book is based.

Best hidden gem in global education

Its intention is to uncover more about ‘the best hidden gem in global education’ and a Dutch system that tops almost every chart on child well-being including the OECD’s Pisa rankings on educational attainment.

Professor Harris said: “The research involved experts from various disciplines, within the Netherlands, to provide insights and illustrations of how this education system is, in so many ways, a best kept international secret. 'The Dutch Way' offers an in-depth view of an education system that is not in the white-hot, spotlight of global attention but on important measures of well-being, equity and inclusive education, scores particularly highly.”

Dr Jones added: “The hope for the book and this research is to present a new and alternative lens on education systems that exemplify equity as well as excellence. Dutch educational policy-making reflects power-sharing and consensus in decision-making. Such strong cultural norms and values are at the heart of educational practice and largely explain the performance of its education system.

“'The Dutch Way' is a powerful reminder that high quality teaching and a strong commitment to collective and equitable development is critically important in system transformation.”

You can find out more about the ‘The Dutch Way’ project via

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