Een witte teddybeer in de hoek van een witte wieg. De muur erachter is lichtblauw.

Does where you were born determine your place in society?

TLC voucher project
Project type

Reason for this project

The gap between the underprivileged and privileged starts at the cradle, according to researchers, and seems to only be widening in the Netherlands. The way education is designed in our country reinforces this. Could teachers play a role in closing that gap?

The social duty of closing the gap in the inequality of opportunity contains an important task for teachers. At the moment, teachers in training are interested in the topic of inequality of opportunity, but do not yet master the knowledge or skills required to start a substantial discussion with students or within a school. Gaining insight into the topic and reciprocal exchange is of great importance for creating awareness on this topic.

That is why Marloes Hülsken's goal is to have students, but also pupils, gain insight into the mechanisms and perceptions that drive inequality of opportunity. In addition, she aims to renew educational didactics with the research method ‘oral history’. This is a method that makes history education more inclusive for pupils.

Approach within the project

Students of the educational master's programme in Human & Social Sciences at Radboud University and students of the second-degree programme History at the HAN University of Applied Sciences will collect stories told by residents in the vicinity of their internship schools together with their upper secondary pupils. The method that is used is called ‘oral history’. The residents' stories are about growing up and inequality of opportunity in the period 1950-2020 and are collected based on a semi-structured interview.

The leading question during the interview is ‘where was your cradle located? - To what degree have your origins and lifecycle determined your opportunities and position in society?’.


This project is funded by a TLC-voucher from the Radboud Teaching and Learning Centre. That voucher programme has the goal to set up projects in the field of educational innovation, lecturer development and educational research.

Contact information

Would you like to know more? Do not hesitate to contact the voucher stakeholder.