Eddie Denessen
Eddie Denessen

Eddie Denessen appointed Professor of Education and Social Inequality

On 1 April 2023, Eddie Denessen was appointed Professor of Education and Social Inequality at Radboud University Faculty of Social Sciences.

In his research on opportunities in education, Denessen focuses on the potentially negative effects of things like selection, stereotyping, and expectations in education. “We need broad schools, and we should not be so quick to select. A fairer system with less selection contributes to more equal opportunities,” says Denessen.

He studies selection and differentiation (offering different levels of education) from primary to higher education, and at the school careers of pupils and students from different socio-cultural backgrounds. Do teacher expectations affect a student’s school career? How does social cohesion in the classroom affect students’ opportunities? Denessen plans to further explore these and other questions from different disciplines, such as psychology and sociology.

“This research provides insights into the mechanisms that influence students’ school careers,” the researcher continues. “These insights in turn contain clues for developing policies and practical interventions to promote equal opportunities in education.” As a professor, Denessen aims to contribute to applying insights from this type of research in educational practice.

About Eddie Denessen

Denessen (1970, Tegelen) graduated in pedagogy from the Catholic University Nijmegen in 1994. He obtained his PhD in 1999 for a thesis entitled ‘Views on education: curriculum and student-orientation in the Netherlands’, also at Nijmegen. After completing his PhD, he continued to work at Radboud University, as a lecturer, assistant professor and associate professor, and starting from 2016 in combination with a special chair in Socio-cultural Backgrounds and Differentiation in Education at Leiden University (Sardes Chair).

In addition, Denessen has been and still is active as chair of the Education and Society Division of the Netherlands Educational Research Association (VOR) and as chair of the steering committee of the European Research Network About Parents and Education (ERNAPE). He was also a temporary member of the Education Council for the ‘Select Later, Differentiate Better’ recommendation for a later selection after primary school. Together with researchers from the University of Amsterdam, Denessen and his colleagues were awarded a Dutch Research Council (NWO) grant for a research project entitled ‘Aiming for equal opportunities in education’, which is expected to run until 2025.

Contact information

For further information, please contact the team Science communication via +31(0)24 361 60 00 or media [at] ru.nl (media[at]ru[dot]nl).