Schils, T (Trudie)

I am a full professor in economics of education at the department of Macro, International and Labour Economics (MILE) of the Maastricht University School of Business and Economics (SBE). I focus on the economics of education.

 

My current research focuses on the analysis of the assessment of student performance, the role of tests in education, the role of social-emotional skills, the identification and support of gifted students and differences between students by socio-economic background or gender.  A more detailed description of my research is found under ‘research’.

 

I am programme manager of the ‘Educatieve Agenda Limburg’. This is a cooperation between the institutes of higher education in the region (Maastricht University, Zuyd Hogeschool, Fontys Hogescholen and Open University), the vocational education institutes (MBO), schoolboards in primary and secondary education, and the Province of Limburg. Main goal of this project is maintaining and expanding good education in the region. Education in which students learn things that fit their talents and interests, and which matches the needs of future education, or the labour market. We believe that by collaboration between all relevant actors, and active monitoring of progress, this can be achieved. More about my activities in this programme is found under ‘activities’.


Career History

Professor Economics of Education, department of Macro, International and Labour Economics, School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University (since June 2020).

Programme Manager Educatieve Agenda Limburg, department of Macro, International and Labour Economics, School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University (since September 2014).

 

2018-2020

Associate Professor Economics, department of Economics, Maastricht University.

 

2015 – 2018

Associate Researcher Economics, department of Economics, Maastricht University

 

2008-2015

Assistant Professor, department of Economics, Maastricht University

 

2009-2014

Programme Leader Kaans Education Research, department of Economics, Maastricht University

 

2007

Lecturer, International School for Humanities and Social Sciences, Amsterdam University

 

2005-2008

Postdoctoral researcher, Amsterdam Institute of Advanced Labour Studies, Amsterdam University

 

2005

Researcher, Institute of Labour Studies (OSA), Tilburg University

 

2000-2005

PhD. student, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tilburg University

 


Research Profile

I have a few central research themes.

I am interested in the role and limitations of the use of tests in education. For example, what are the differences between ‘objective’ test scores and more subjective assessment by teachers? I am very curious to know more about other factors that play a role in the assessment of student development, such as expectations of teachers, students and parents, or social-emotional skills. How are such factors related to assessment, both in tests and in teacher judgments? Which social-emotional skills are important and how can we best assess these? What drives the difference between ‘good’ or ‘very good’ and do teachers mean similar things with these values? What do teachers need to objectivize their subjective judgment and how can they get rid of unwanted biases therein? I am also interested in research on subgroups of students, such the identification and support for gifted students. On what signals should parents and teachers focus? What programs for gifted students are effective and how can they best be developed? Finally, I am interested in differences between groups of students in all these questions, such as differences between students from various socio-economic backgrounds or gender differences.


Recent Publications

A full overview of my publications is found here


Teaching

  • Coordinator master course Economic Analysis of Behaviour
  • Coordinator master course Economic Case Studies
  • Coordinator research master course Education Economic
  • Master thesis supervision

Other activities

I am programme manager of the ‘Educatieve Agenda Limburg’ (Kennis-As project). This is a cooperation between the institutes of higher education in the region (Maastricht University, Zuyd Hogeschool, Fontys Hogescholen and Open University), the vocational education institutes (MBO), schoolboards in primary and secondary education, and the Province of Limburg. Main goal of this project is maintaining and expanding good education in the region. Education in which students learn things that fit their talents and interests, and which matches the needs of future education, or the labour market. We believe that by collaboration between all relevant actors, and active monitoring of progress, this can be achieved.

 

Structural dialogue and collaboration between the partners ensures the optimal use of the available, often complementary, knowledge and expertise of the various actors for reflection, evaluation of initiatives and the development of strategic goals.

 

A crucial element of the Educatieve Agenda Limburg is the onderwijsmonitor Limburg (OML). The OML aims to gain insight into the educational development of pupils/students in order to foster the further improvement of education and the transition from education to the labour market in the Province of Limburg, and to acquire knowledge about the dynamics of educational processes in general. At individual schools  a lot of data is already gathered and stored and goal is to bring this together on an aggregated level and supplement it with additional surveys where deemed necessary. By involving all schools (preschool, primary, secondary, vocational and higher education), information about full student careers becomes available.

 

An overview of students’ careers and involvement of the field partners are important aspects of the data collection, next to the aggregation feature of the data. This latter allows regional analyses: where are the strengths and weaknesses of the regional education? The data also allow the evaluation of policy, interventions or projects, and further scientific analyses.