The Learning Variability NeTwork Exchange (LEVANTE)
LEVANTE is an ambitious project designed to coordinate data collection by research teams on children’s learning variability within and across individuals, groups, and cultures.
Variability is a common factor during childhood. Children’s abilities may vary within a classroom, within a social group or in different parts of a country or different regions of the world. Yet education systems are not designed to address children’s variable states, often offering inflexible instruction that does not fit the needs of most children at a given time. In addition, research usually focuses on group averages, short snapshots of time, and only one environment. There is also a lack of scientific evidence on the interplay between the different types of variability. We need this evidence to increase our understanding on why certain learning solutions might work for some individuals but not for others, or whether variability itself is different across groups or contexts.
LEVANTE aims to understand the nature of developmental variability. It will create a legal, ethical, and technical framework so that participating research teams can collect data from children ages 2-12 on a shared set of measurements. This data will be stored in a repository designed for open sharing and re-use, creating a unique resource for the study of variation in human development.
One key outcome of LEVANTE will be the creation of a uniquely large, well-curated, high value dataset to be used by researchers for years to come, with the main focus on learning variability. The LEVANTE Data Archive will not only facilitate the development of the science of learning variability, but help constitute the backbone of a larger multidisciplinary, multisectoral research community on learning variability working toward improving children’s learning and development globally.