Last year, the theme sparked a national discussion, after a research that stated that no less than 35 percent of the respondents gave a class whilst being unprepared. The Twente Graduate School also started offering more courses for PhD-candidates.
Real educational issues
‘All of this stimulated us to work on this course,’ says Marije Hahnen-Florijn, coordinator of teacher professionalization. ‘Even though it’s just the basics, the movement behind it is much bigger.’
The course will take three days – followed by a reflection moment several months later. In between, participants will get some ‘homework’. Hahnen-Florijn explains: ‘We’ll be working on real educational issues. You don’t want to throw PhDs in the deep end, so to speak. Just after they start, they have a small age gap with their students and have minimal knowledge about teaching.’
Flexible UTQ experiment
It is noteworthy that – as an experiment – participating PhD’s get the opportunity to get a ‘head start’ for a part of a University Teaching Qualification (UTQ). Also outside this university, colleague coordinators of Hahnen-Florijn follow this particular experiment with interest, she says. ‘As a PhD candidate, you will be judged the same as a real UTQ teacher. If you do well, you can cash in your progress, when you enroll in a complete UTQ track.’
Hahnen-Florijn thinks there’s really no way around a more flexible UTQ. ‘We notice more and more that people are asking for it. PhDs are usually the majority in a large part of the UTQ courses we offer; they simple feel the necessity. There’s no way to wriggle yourself out of experimenting with a flexible UTQ.’
The course Bootcamp taste of teaching’ starts on the 15th of May. 21 PhD candidates have already enrolled.