“Countries need to build strong foundations for success for each stage of children’s development if they want their education policies to be successful,” said Professor J. Douglas Willms, President of The Learning Bar, at a seminar organised jointly by the EIB Institute and the University of Luxembourg as part of the “Inequality and…?” series.

“An increase or a reallocation of funding is often necessary for policies that aim to increase student performance and reduce inequalities,” he added.

In order to help countries do this, Dr Willms has developed Educational Prosperity, an assessment framework that can be used to assess the capacity of a school jurisdiction, state, or country to develop children’s literacy skills and well-being, to set goals for increasing their capacity, and to monitor progress towards those goals. This new life-course approach sets out an explicit model for monitoring quality, equality and equity with valid and reliable indicators using a set of metrics for success at six key stages of development across the life course from conception (healthy pregnancy) to adolescence (school completion). The model was adopted by the OECD for PISA for Development, an initiative aimed at building capacity for low and middle-income countries to monitor progress towards nationally set targets for improvement.

Douglas Willms is founder and President of The Learning Bar Inc, an international company that provides research-based tools and training for enhancing the life chances of children and youth. He is also the President of the International Academy of Education, a member of the US National Academy of Education, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. From 2002-2017, he held the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Literacy and Human Development.

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