Learning Minds

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.

LEVANTE - The learning variability network exchange

Variability is a common factor during childhood. Children’s abilities may vary within a classroom, within a social group, in different parts of a country or in 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. Our understanding of the causes and types of learning variability, as well as the best ways to address them, is still incomplete. How can we better understand this inherent diversity of the childhood experience and prepare children to thrive in the multitude of contexts they will encounter throughout life?

This is the primary question driving LEVANTE – the Learning Variability Network Exchange – a new flagship initiative supported by the Foundation under the umbrella of our Strategy 2030 Research Agenda on learning variability. 

Launched in 2023, with Stanford University as a key partner coordinating the initiative, LEVANTE brings together researchers from around the world and provides them with a framework to enable them to gather information on how children’s learning varies, within and across individuals, groups, and cultural contexts. It will collect data from children aged 2-12, using a common set of measurements including cognitive, emotional, social, and environmental factors that influence and contribute to individual differences in learning.

To capture the date, we will create the LEVANTE Data Archive (LDA), hosted by Stanford University. The LDA will be the first cross-cultural, multidisciplinary open dataset aiming to capture the richness and diversity of child development and learning. Through its creation, we aim to not only facilitate the development of the science of learning variability but also help constitute the backbone of a larger multidisciplinary, multisectoral research community on learning variability. On a systemic level, through this community we aim to influence educational policies and practices, making them better suited to meet the diverse needs and potentials of children.