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Julien Danhier

PhD student (ERC grant) / Doctorant ERC


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+32/2/650 47 98

office: S14-105

After successfully completing a MA in Sociology and a MA in philosophy at the ULB (Université libre de Bruxelles), I obtained an advanced master's degree in 'Quantitative analysis in social sciences' at the KuBrussel (Katholiek Universiteit Brussel). Then, I worked for 4 years as a statistician and a database manager at the French-speaking community of Belgium. One of my main tasks was the assessment of educational outcomes.
In 2012, I began a thesis about the impact of teachers on students' achievements in relation to school segregation at the Group for research on Ethnic Relation, Migration and Equality (GERME). My main fields of interest are quantitative analysis, school segregation and educational assessment.

Doctoral thesis:

"Equal opportunities for migrant youth in educational systems with high levels of social and ethnic segregation – Assessing the impact of teachers"

Supervisor: Dirk Jacobs

Although a gap in educational performance of migrant children compared to children without a migration background can be observed in most industrializedcountries, it is particularly large in countries as Belgium, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, as has been attested by the PISA-data. Social and ethnic segregation, which is particularly high in these educational systems, seems to be one of the important explanatory factors. This project seeks to disentangle what are the crucial factors by which this highlevel of segregation impacts on unequal opportunities for immigrant children. Going beyond the classic composition effect model (looking at peer group effects, i.e. positive or negative influences of pupils on each other), this project wants to also examine the potential impact of differentiated teacher profiles on group performance. The project wishes to test the hypothesis that the link between school composition and educational performance is a (partly) spurious effect, caused by mediating effect of teacher characteristics. We hypothesize that better skilled and more positivelyoriented teachers are overrepresented in schools with an 'easier' school population, while so-called 'difficult' schools (populated by working-class immigrant children) have difficulty in attracting and - especially - keeping competent and motivated staff. In order to examine this hypothesis a mixed methods approach will be used, combining quantitative statistical analysis (on new and existing data, for instance multi-level analysis ofthe PISA-data set and other eligible datasets), qualitative case studies and focus groups. Secondary analysis of existing data-sets (PISA, TIMMS, PIRLS) will be undertaken and new data will be collected (taking the Flemish and Francophone educational systems in Belgium as case-studies).