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  Curriculum Vitae Paul L. C. van Geert   

Curriculum Vitae

  • born 8 January 1950 (Temse, Belgium)

  • married to M.J.O Waegeman (1950), two children (David (1972) and Liesbet (1974)
  • 1967-1971: studied Psychology and Educational Sciences at the University of Ghent, Belgium,

  • 1975: Ph.D. in psychology (developmental psychology), dissertation on "Language development in the light of cognition and perception"

  • 1976: lecturer at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands; 1978: senior lecturer,

  • 1978-1979: fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences, in a project group consisting, among others, of J. Bruner, M. Bowerman and D. Olson

  • 1985- ..: Professor of psychology, chair of developmental psychology, University of Groningen

  • 1990-1992: dean of the Department of Psychology

  • 1992-1993: Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California

  • 1993 - 1998: Chairman of the national Dutch Research Group on Developmental psychology

  • 1993-1997: Associate editor British Journal of Developmental Psychology

  • 1994-…: editor-in-chief of the Nederlandse Tijdschrift voor de Psychologie (Dutch Journal of Psychology)

  • 1997-2000: Director of the Heijmans Institute for Psychological Research

  • 2002: Visiting Professor at the department of developmental and cognitive Psychology, Université de Paris V

  • 1998-2000: Scientific Coordinator, with Jacques Lautrey and Bernard Mazoyer, of the Program on Invariants and Variability in the Cognitive Sciences, as part of the Action Concertée Cognitique, financed by the French Ministry of Scientific Research

  • 2002-2003: Lecturer at the Summer Institute on Mind, Brain and Education at Harvard University

  • 1991- …: scientific collaboration on the study of developmental dynamics with Prof Kurt Fischer of Harvard University; lecturer at the Graduate School of Education of Harvard University

  • 2002: Visiting Professor Lagrange Project at the department of Psychology, University of Turin, Italy




  • Introductory, graduate and post-graduate courses on cognitive and language development

  • introduction to developmental and life-span psychology

  • introduction to life-span cognitive development

  • theories and methods of developmental psychology

  • introduction to educational psychology, teaching and instruction

  • dynamic systems theory of development



Research Activities, interests and plans


My major interest lies in the further elaboration of dynamic systems models of development in general. My current work encompasses three complementary approaches to the application of dynamic systems to development, namely mathematical model building, empirical research on developmental processes and the development of accessible but adequate statistical methods. My empirical research is focused on longitudinal studies in childhood and covers various fields: cognitive change, language and social and socio-cognitive development.

Since a few years I have taken a major interest in a phenomenon that I consider of utmost importance for a better understanding of developmental dynamics, namely (intra-)individual variability. My plan is to further elaborate on that theme and to try to combine the model building, empirical research and statistical methods approach in an attempt to broaden the scope of developmental research in general.

I have also worked in applied research concerning teaching programs for hearing impaired, mentally and physically handicapped children and intervention programs with socially disadvantaged children.

In a new project (with H. Steenbeek), a small number of children (two times four) will be followed as intensively as possible, in order to capture their learning performance in school over a period of two years, in the context of social action and emotion.