Organisation - February 5, 2019

Four newcomers on longlist for Teacher of the Year

Text:
Luuk Zegers

The longlist for the Teacher of the Year award 2019 has been announced. Four lecturers have made their first appearance on the list: Anneke Valk, Elke Scholten, Kris van ’t Klooster and Tijs Ketelaar.

Tijs Ketelaar (left) is told he has been nominated for the Teacher of the Year award 2019 © University Fund Wageningen

These four and thirteen other nominees are in the running for the crown as Teacher of the Year 2019. Anneke Valk is lecturer in Experimental Zoology, Elke Scholten is associate professor of Food Physics, Kris van ’t Klooster is lecturer in Plant Physiology and Tijs Ketelaar is assistant professor of Cell Biology. Many former laureates have entered the race for another round too, like last year’s winner Henry van den Brand, Jessica Duncan (2017) and Roel Dijksma (2016). Like last year, around 21 percent of the students who could vote did so.

‘Convince before the teaching can commence’
Tijs Ketelaar was told of his occurrence on the longlist last Thursday. ‘A pleasant surprise. It means a lot that I am able to reach the students. If they voted for me, it must mean my message was conveyed.’ Ketelaar learned to teach from André van Lammeren, who received the award in 2010 (article in Dutch). ‘He told me that the first thing one should do is convince people why it is worth learning more about a certain subject. Once they are convinced, the teaching can commence.’ Van Lammeren has retired several years ago. ‘At least, officially. We still call upon him for a few courses’, says Ketelaar.

‘Structure and innovations’
Lecturer in Food Chemistry Julia Diederen has made the longlist for the fourth time in five years. ‘It’s great; a confirmation that I’m on the right path and that the students appreciate what I do. Of course, I don’t know the exact reasons they vote for me, but evaluations have shown that students appreciate the structured coordination of the course.’ Diederen puts a lot of work into innovations in education. ‘I always analyse how the learning process could be improved. In Food Chemistry, I teach 260 students simultaneously, so I really need to. I therefore try to involve digital education in a proper way, to keep it balanced with face-to-face contact. And I give the students many activating assignments during my lectures.’

Julia Diederen receives her nomination and the associated liquorice chalks. © University Fund Wageningen

The teachers who have made the longlist will be interviewed by this year’s student jury, which is composed of eight students from various programmes and of different nationalities. They will choose a top five (shortlist) and subsequently a winner. Head of the jury Suzanne Ruijten: ‘We are looking for a lecturer who is passionate and involved, and who keeps improving on their teaching.’ Toshihiro Takada is one of the jury members. ‘I am from Japan, where the educational culture is very different. The hierarchy is very prevalent. It is much more interactive here. An election for teacher of the year could never happen there, but I like the idea that it is possible here.’

The 17 nominees, in alphabetical order:
John Beijer
Fred de Boer
Henry van den Brand
Julia Diederen
Roel Dijksma
Jessica Duncan
Maria Forlenza
Sander Gussekloo
Hannie van van der Honing
Sonja Isken
Tijs Ketelaar
Kris van t Klooster
Arie Nieuwenhuizen
Huub Savelkoul
Elke Scholten
Anneke Valk
Pim de Zwart

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