Paul Leseman obtained his MSc (major in psychology, minor in linguistics) at the University of Amsterdam and a PhD in the social sciences at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He was a postdoctoral research fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences, a senior researcher and associate professor of educational sciences at the University of Amsterdam, and visiting scholar of early childhood education at the Free University of Berlin.
He is a professor of education - in particular learning disabilities and school problems of low income and minority children - at Utrecht University since 2003. He was scientific director of the Langeveld Institute, chair of the Department of Child, Family and Education Studies, and chair of the national PhD research school for developmental psychology and education ISED.
Currently, he is principal investigator of the Dutch national cohort study pre-COOL on the effects of early childhood care and education on children’s development and school achievement, scientific coordinator of the European Union's FP7 project CARE (Curriculum and Quality Assessment and Impact Analysis of European Early Childhood Education and Care) and the EU Horizon 2020 project ISOTIS (Inclusive Education and Social Support to Tackle Inequalities in Society), and principal investigator of the EU Horizon 2020 project L2TOR on social robots as dual language tutors for young children.
He is also principal investigator of the Dutch national Child Daycare Quality Monitor (LKK). Research publications concern emergent literacy and numeracy, bilingual development, development of executive functions and self-regulation, efficacy of preschool education programs, and adolescent literacy.