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Status holders are preparing for teacher training

In November 2017, six status holders attended an introduction training course on Dutch education at ICLON.

The introduction training, together with an internship at a secondary school and a language test, is the preparation for the educational module.

Afterwards, the teachers can start this module in January 2018, thereby achieving a limited second-level teaching qualification. This means that the graduate teacher can teach in the initial years of secondary education and in lower vocational education.

‘I have learned how to create a practical assignment that students can use to prepare for the lesson.'

'In the Netherlands the students do much more themselves; in Iraq, as a teacher you are talking a lot more.'

'I have seen how Dutch teachers teach. How you can alternate between asking questions and explaining, and how you can give varied lessons with different ICT resources.'

Getting acquainted with Dutch education

The training focused on the differences and similarities between education in the Netherlands and in the countries of origin (Syria, Iraq and Tunisia) of the participants. The group consisted of teachers of mathematics and computer science. Therefore, in addition to general information about Dutch education, mathematics education was discussed extensively. For example, how do you teach mathematics if you do not speak Dutch fluently yet? And how can you use ICT resources such as video and web quests effectively in the classroom?


One of the assignments was making a video about a mathematical subject, such as angles or the Pythagorean theorem. Such a video is meant for pupils to view prior to the lesson in order to familiarize themselves with a certain concept and to induce thinking. The participants watched each other's videos and indicated what was right, and what could be improved.


The differences between textbooks for mathematics in the different countries were also discussed. In Syria, a participant said, the teacher has a lot of work to turn the material from the book into a lesson. The books are mainly theoretical. In the Netherlands, the textbooks give practical examples and more points of reference for structuring the lesson.

This training course for status holders is an initiative of the Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching (ICLON) and the Foundation for Refugee Students UAF. The tutors were Henk Frencken (educational advisor at ICLON) and Jan Lips (mathematics teacher).

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