Recommended research resources

General resources

The High Level Group Report of Experts on Literacy

In this 2012 report, a group of European experts on literacy mapped out the key literacy issues of the 21st century and pointed out that 1 in 5 Europeans struggles with reading and writing, a troublesome fact. Highlighting that literacy is truly about participation in society and about the individual quality of life, the High Level Group proposed solutions to this hidden literacy crisis. ELINET being an outcome of this report, it can be regarded as its founding document.

Teaching Reading in Europe (2011)

Focusing on key factors to improve reading literacy, this Eurydice study shows what 31 European countries do to boost the reading performance of children and adolescents– and where there is still room for improvement. Drawing on academic research, international surveys (PIRLS, PISA) and reviews of national steering documents, this report suggests that progress has already been made in creating more effective literacy policies. However, groups at risk still need more support, such as children from disadvantaged households, migrant children, or boys.


Describing 38 national education systems across Europe, Eurypedia aims to give an accurate impression of a range of educational aspects such as the organisation of school systems, its variations and alternative structures, teaching, learning and assessment.

Key Data for Education in Europe 2012

Sketching important developments in 37 European education systems over the last decade, this survey outlines the operational means of these systems by looking into 95 indicators, including organisation, participation, teachers and educational processes.

Education and Training in Europe 2020. Responses from the EU member states (2013)

Comparing national responses to the Europe 2020 priorities concerning education and training, this survey gives insight into recent and forthcoming reforms in four areas: early school leaving, higher education, youth employment and vocational education as well as adult participation in lifelong learning.

TALIS 2013

The OECD Teaching and Learning International Study (TALIS) lays its focus on teachers and as such on one of the factors with the most powerful impact on student learning. Investigating aspects that influence effective teaching, this survey asks teachers about topics such as initial teacher training, professional development, feedback, school climate, and how satisfied teachers are with their work. The study covers 17 ELINET countries.

Reports according to age groups – Children

Key Data on Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe (2014)

This 2014 report gives insight into access to early childhood education and care, participation, governance, funding and affordability, professionalisation of staff, leadership, parental involvement, and the provision of targeted support for disadvantaged children.

OECD - Starting strong III: A Quality Toolbox for Early Childhood Education and Care (2011)

This OECD publication offers a comparative review of quality factors in early childhood education and care and defines 5 policy levers that lead to an improvement in the field.

Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (2011)

The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) assesses reading achievement of fourth graders on an international scale. PIRLS assesses different purposes for reading and different reading processes. PIRLS 2011 also examined the national policies, curricula and practices related to literacy, and included a set of questionnaires for students, parents/caregivers, teachers, and school principals to investigate the experiences that young children have at home and at school while learning to read, in particular in regards to their attitudes and motivation toward reading.

PIRLS 2011 Encyclopedia

Drawing on the rich database of the PIRLS studies, the PIRLS Encyclopedia is an important resource to understand the national contexts in which teaching and learning reading takes place. The Encyclopedia - also available as a PDF for download – covers a wide range of countries, among them 22 countries or regions represented in ELINET, namely: Austria, Belgium (French), Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

Reports according to age groups – Adolescents

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

Since its first publication in 2000, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has had a significant impact on our thinking about reading literacy. In our work, we draw on the results of successive PISA studies as we consider trends in reading literacy among 15-year olds. At the moment, ELINET experts Dominique Lafontaine and Sari Sulkunen are preparing for the PISA 2018, where reading literacy will be a major assessment domain for the first time since 2009.

Reports according to age groups – Adults

Adult Education and Training in Europe: Widening Access to Learning Opportunities (2015)

While adult education and training has long been side-lined in policy-making, it is center-stage in this Eurydice report. Taking an integrated approach to lifelong learning, the report investigates policy commitments to provide access to educational resources for all adults who struggle to meet demands of society and of the current labour market. This study draws both on qualitative information as well as statistical data from international surveys to highlight the key issues and actions taken to promote lifelong learning on a policy level.

OECD Skills Outlook 2013: First Results from the Survey of Adult Skills

This first OECD Skills Outlook gives access to the initial results of PIAAC (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies).
PIAAC evaluates the key cognitive and workplace skills needed for individuals to participate in society and for economies to prosper whereas literacy is stressed as a prominent prerequisite to successfully navigate in technology-rich environments. The Survey of Adult Skills evaluates adult skills in 24 countries. This report inquires both the scope of foundational skills adults have at their disposition, the applicability of these skills in different settings, both at home and at work.