EEMCS faculty hosts Month of Education

| Rense Kuipers

The EEMCS faculty is following in the footsteps of the S&T faculty, by organising an entire month dedicated to education. The Month of Education is spread out over seven days, all filled with presentations, discussions, workshops and seminars around a specific theme.

Photo by: Gijs van Ouwerkerk

The faculty felt inspired by last year’s Month of Education, hosted by the S&T faculty, says EEMCS’s education portfolio holder Arend Rensink. ‘The theme of our month is the Future of Education. Of course, this is a very broad theme and there are plenty of developments in education currently; think of digitalisation, Challenge-Based Learning, Lifelong Learning and Recognition & Rewards. What we hope to achieve is to have our teachers show and share concrete examples of these developments, to take these concepts out of a somewhat sceptical buzzword-sphere and make them more visible, tangible and usable.’

‘As accessible as possible’

Rensink thinks an entire month dedicated to education is better than a single Education Day. ‘We used to have a UT-wide Education Day. But what I found disappointing about that concept is that it didn’t reach its core target audience: teachers. The Education Day ended up having an audience of mostly educational support staff, which is a pity. We hope to reach as many teachers as possible, throughout the entire UT. This is a month hosted by our faculty, but it’s for the entire university.’

To reach as many people – especially teachers – as possible, the event is spread out over seven days, each with a specific theme. ‘We want it to be as accessible as possible. So everyone is welcome to stop by anytime at the DesignLab, even if it’s just for lunch.’ This flexibility should also help with regards to work pressure, says Rensink. ‘We don’t expect anyone to show up to all seven days. But if people look at the program and see what will be a good fit for their interests and agenda, I believe we can reach and inspire a lot of people and have some vivid discussions about the future of education.’

Arend Rensink.


Are there any special elements in the program he can pinpoint? Rensink: ‘There is one day dedicated to the student perspective. Of course teachers are our target audience, but this day offers an opportunity to get a more in-depth view on how students experience education. We also have a day focused on the stakeholder perspective; so we have someone from Universities of the Netherlands (formerly known as VSNU, ed.) to talk about current events on a national level, combined with study advisors sharing their views on the future of education.’

The last day of the Month of Education – 9 June – is the most experimental one, says Rensink. ‘We want people to work in teams and design their education of the future. During the whole day, they will be working on concepts; not from an entirely blank slate and not sticking to too many rules and regulations of the higher education we know today, since that would undoubtedly deadlock any discussion. We aim for the best of both worlds: a brainstorming session in a realistic setting. Ideally, creative educational concepts will pop up, without compromising the value of a diploma.’

Passing the torch

When will the Month of Education be a success? There are no rigid performance indicators, says Rensink. ‘Above all, we want to make everything we do in education more visible. I hope people get a lot of positive energy out of this event. Ideally, another faculty is so enthusiastic about this concept, that we can pass the torch to them next year.’

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