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Lecturers in the spotlight: the Education Award nominees

Every year, Humanities students can nominate their favourite lecturer for the Humanities Education Award. Traditionally, the winner of the award will be announced at the start of the academic year. Who are 2017’s nominees and what inspires them to teach?

Dennis Bos

Teaches: Socialism in Dutch History

When does history lecturer Dennis Bos most love teaching? “When a new batch of students signs up for my class ‘because they need the credits’ and leave after twelve weeks as hardened warriors against authority and all forms of repression and exploitation.”

Jeroen Brinkhuis

Teaches: Strategy in the minor programme International and Intercultural Management

“I try to to focus on the student’s learning experience.  I incorporate flipped classroom [assignments outside the traditional classroom] and assignments for actual companies into my lectures. I challenge my students to use these experiences to create a synthesis between the academic material and practice. I’m proud when students tell me that my course has given them a different worldview.”

Eric de Bruyn

Teaches: Media, Art Theory in Film & Photographic Studies

“The intensive interaction with students in the small seminar groups in the Master gives me great satisfaction. The students in the international programme Film & Photographic Studies often have very different backgrounds, and this sometimes requires extra didactic effort, but it also creates a great group dynamic.  My ambition is to not only give students a  thorough knowledge of art and media history, but also to familiarise them with the professional world of the media arts.”

Frank Chouraqui

Teaches: Philosophy

“Before a lecture, I always ask myself: "why do I care about this material?" and "why should the students care about this material?" The answers are different for every group and for every lecture, and sometimes I get them wrong; but they determine my approach to the class, and when it works, things come alive.”  

Andrew Gawthorpe

Teaches: American History

“The most gratifying thing about teaching is seeing students having “lightbulb moments” in which they realize the power of their own critical faculties.  Although knowledge transfer is an important part of any course, developing the power to think critically is even more important.  When I listen to comments in class or read course assignments which display this ability, I know students are realizing their full potential.”

Victor Gijsbers

Teaches: Philosophy

“I try to bring my classes to life with lots of enthusiasm and to make the topics accessible and engaging.  I love it when I notice that I’ve made students think; that they come to me with their own ideas they wouldn’t have come up with if I hadn’t handed them the ingredients to work with.”

Olga van Marion

Teaches: Dutch Studies

“I like to ask my students questions about the study material using educational tool Kahoot!, which gives my classes a healthy competitive atmosphere. I enjoy building up suspense in my classes and I try to maintain that energy for as long as possible. It makes me happy when students actively think about and participate in research.”

The Humanities Education Award

Good education is essential to Leiden University. To reward outstanding education and shine the spotlight on the important role of our lecturers, the Humanities Education Award is handed out each year. A lecturer is nominated by students and a jury determines which nominee will receive the award. 2017’s winner will be announced during the Faculty Opening Ceremony on September 6.

More information about the Education Award (in Dutch).