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The launch of a new wave in the ISCWeB project

The new wave of data collection, supported by the Jacobs Foundation, was launched in Goethe-University, Frankfurt in early July.

The launch of the second ISCWeB data collection wave was hosted by the Goethe-University Department of Educational Science in Frankfurt on 04-05 July 2013. Opening remarks were given by Simon Sommer, Research Director of the Jacobs Foundation, Prof. Tanja Brühl, Vice-President Goethe-University, and Prof. Barbara Friebertshäuser, Dean, Faculty of Educational Science Goethe-University.


Prof. Asher Ben-Arieh opened with an overview of the project history and goals and presented initial data from the previous data collection.

The first part of the meeting was devoted an overview of the process of testing the questionnaire. Each of the Principal Investigators presented the findings from piloting the questionnaires held in their country. These presentations were followed by a discussion that covered a range of issues.

Participants discussed the benefits of cross-national surveys. In light of the lack of knowledge on children’s perceptions and evaluations of their lives the significance of the project was emphasized. The project’s findings could be used to benefit children’s well-being in each of the participating countries but also the well-being of children in general.

The challenges in cross-national surveys were also deliberated. It was agreed that the language, culture, context, and children’s everyday life differ from country to country. Nevertheless, it seems that a common ground of ‘childhood’ is shared by all children. The presentations showed that the majority of the items and response scales in the questionnaire work well with the three age groups and in all of the countries. The importance of a ‘deep translation’ that takes into account the language, culture and the context of children’s lives in each country was stressed.

 The second part of the meeting was opened with a keynote presentation from Prof. Eckhard Klieme from the German Institute for International Educational Research. Prof. Klieme explored learning lessons from PISA and TIMSS and their implications for cross-national projects. Dr. Renate Moller from Bielefeld University gave a presentation on sampling and provided many useful guidelines for high-quality sampling.

The last part of the meeting was devoted to the next steps. The process of data collection, storage, data analysis and coding was explicated and clarified by Prof. Ferran Casas and Gwyther Rees. Finally, a discussion was held on dissemination, future publications and the possible contribution to conceptual thinking in the area of childhood and children’s well-being.