Last week, Roosevelt Academy and Harvard's Derek Bok Center concluded their second workshop on excellent teaching. Two experts from Harvard, Terry Aladjem and Ellen Sarkisian trained senior instructors from Dutch university colleges and universities of applied sciences in innovative techniques like microteaching. Explicit goal of this initiative is to teach workshop participants how to take lessons learned and implement them back at their institutes.
Teachers as mentors
Dutch education minister Marja van Bijsterveldt opened the event with a speech emphasizing the important role teachers have as learning facilitators. To her, "excellence is more than getting straight A's on all your exams."
"Much more, it does ask for a motivation, curiosity and a broad interest. To foster this, we need to guide young students with mentors who discover their talents and encourage to develop them further. This is where teachers come into play by giving space for originality and rewarding effort by learners."
Lesson learned for Summit 2013
With an eye on the teaching summit in 2013, van Bijsterveldt also urged the audience to bring lessons learned from this workshop into the international debate on education. "In March next year, Amsterdam will host the International Summit on the Teaching Profession. Originally an initiative by U.S. President Obama who is a Harvard alumnus himself, the summit will give a platform to the 20 best performing countries in education to discuss best practices. And I believe that this workshop offers a great opportunity to explore what our contribution to this debate may be."
For the full speech by Marja van Bijsterveldt (in Dutch), click here.
If you would like to stay up to date to all news surrounding next year's summit, follow our news section "Teaching Summit 2013" via www.ScienceGuide.eu