Universiteit Leiden

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Emilie Prast

Assistant professor

Dr. E.J. Prast
+31 71 527 2727

Emilie Prast is assistant professor in the Educational Sciences at the Institute of Education and Child Studies at Leiden University⁠. Differentiation, i⁠.e⁠. adapting education to between-student differences in primary education, is the focus of her research⁠.

More information about Emilie Prast


In primary education, students with diverse levels of knowledge and skills are grouped in the same class⁠. Because of these individual differences, students frequently have different educational needs, such as a need for more or less instruction, a different type of instruction, more or less practice, etc⁠. Adapting education to these diverse educational needs is called differentiation and this is the central theme of Emilie's research⁠.

She approaches this theme from various angles, including:

  • Specification and measurement: What exactly is differentiation and how do you measure this?
  • Implementation: How do teachers apply differentiation?
  • Effectivity: What are the effects of (certain types of) differentiation on student achievement?
  • Motivation: How is the implementation of (certain types of) differentiation related to students' confidence and motivation? - Professional development: How can teachers' differentiation skills be improved?
  • Student perspective: What do students think about differentiation?

Emilie frequently, but not always, investigates this type of questions in the context of primary mathematics education⁠. She aims to look beyond the group level in order to detect potential differences between students (such as differential effects of differentiation depending on achievement level)⁠.

Connections between research, educational practice and teaching

Emilie is committed to connecting scientific research with educational practice⁠. She does this by publishing practice-oriented articles for teachers, but also in the courses she teaches at the university⁠. For example, she is involved in practice-oriented courses in a master-level teacher training programme (EMPO), in which she can directly translate scientific insights (including her own research) to educational practice⁠.

Connections between research and practice also play a major role in other courses developed and taught by Emilie, including Education: Research and Practice and Instructional Design⁠.

Short CV

Emilie Prast is assistant professor in the Educational Sciences at the Institute of Education and Child Studies at Leiden University⁠. In 2018, she obtained her PhD at Utrecht University based on a large-scale research project about differentiation in primary mathematics education⁠. Before that, she obtained a Bachelor in Education and Child studies at Leiden University and a Master in Educational Psychology (with a focus on excellence in education) at Ludwig-Maxilimians-University in Munich⁠.

Assistant professor

  • Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
  • Instituut Pedagogische Wetenschappen
  • Onderwijswetenschappen

Work address

Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 4B10




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