‘Teachers should keep learning’

Margo Vlamings

Jeroen Jansz is the head of the Community for Learning & Innovation, where teachers learn about group dynamics. ‘The CLI has all these tricks that are easy to learn and that improve the teachers’ interaction with the students.’

TEXT: Dennis Mijnheer
PHOTOGRAPHY: Margo Vlamings

Jeroen Jansz, professor of communication and media, is a familiar face at the faculty of Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) as Director of Education. However, since 2017 he’s also been known to pay a visit to other faculties. Starting that year, Jansz has taken charge as head of the Community for Learning & Innovation (CLI), which aims to improve the professional development of teachers. ‘We’re always in communication with all the faculties, as well as the other directors, to see in what ways the Community for Learning & Innovation can aid in the professional growth of our teachers,’ says Jansz. The desire is there amongst the teachers, but they don’t always have the time to invest.

'The quality of our teachers is good, but it’s important to stay inspired and ahead of the game.'

This is why the Jansz is offering fast-track courses, so-called “MicroLabs”. ‘Teachers won’t have to attend a three-day course – they can just join in for four hours, twice, and learn very specific and goal-oriented skills.’ One of the MicroLabs, for example, shows teachers how to get students more involved during seminars. ‘Erasmus University Rotterdam puts a lot of emphasis on students interacting. The goal is to really get them to participate in classes. What the CLI offers is the necessary understanding of how group dynamics work – a handful of tricks that they can easily apply.’ One of those tricks? A quiz. ‘Also when it’s a lecture of 200 people: I give them video footage to take home and them make them answer three to five quiz questions. So by the time my next lecture starts, I’ll already have the results, and can really play off of those in what I say. It really works.’ This is only one example of the variety of tools that the CLI has to offer in getting the professionalisation of teachers on the tracks.

It’s necessary, too: ‘The quality of our teachers is good, but it’s important to stay inspired and ahead of the game. The competition is getting better, which means that the EUR has gone down a few rungs. Now’s the time to do something about that.’