Harmen Schaap on the personal and interdisciplinary nature of the STQ pilot

Een portretfoto van Harmen Schaap van de Radboud Docenten Academie
I think it's important to keep developing your vision of what you still want to achieve, the personal nature of the STQ helps you do that
Harmen Schaap
Current role
Assistant professor at the Radboud Teachers Academy

Harmen Schaap is an assistent professor and in that role a teacher educator and educational scientist at the Radboud Teachers Academy. He is participating in the pilot for the Senior Teaching Qualification (STQ), a possible next step in your development as a senior lecturer after you have obtained the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ).

‘At some point, as a lecturer, you reach a phase where you have long since obtained the UTQ, but you start to wonder how you can continue to develop yourself. It is very easy to lose yourself in the busyness of your work, both in teaching and in research. I therefore think it is very important to keep deliberately developing your vision of what you still want to achieve. The STQ can help you take back that control over your own development. It is a senior qualification aimed at lecturers who want to start working on educational innovation or are already doing so. During the track, you are encouraged to think about who you are as an academic leader and you work with people from all kinds of different disciplines.'

‘The working method for the STQ is different from that of the UTQ, during which you work towards completing a portfolio step-by-step, and thus are being held responsible according to a fixed procedure. At the beginning of the pilot, for instance, there was a prepared programme with plenary meetings, but we as participants determine the contents of those meetings ourselves. For each meeting, other participants are asked to prepare the meeting. That creates ownership and a feeling of responsibility, but it also ensures that we always address a variety of topics that not everyone automatically encounters during their work. So it is not that we work towards a predetermined final product. All the knowledge and insights that you gain during the track contribute to obtaining your UTQ in the end.'

‘We also occasionally run into stumbling blocks, but that is to be expected in a pilot. For example, we're around 30 participants, with everyone following their own track in which you are developing your own educational innovation. That contributes to the diverse and interdisciplinary nature of the UTQ, but also means that not everyone is always in the same phase of the process. Some people are still working on their action plan, while others have already put their innovation into practice. So it is possible that the contents of a meeting may sometimes come too early or too late. You'll have to work out a balance in that. It is great that we can find solutions to problems like these as a group. That gives the STQ a personal nature, because you are partly responsible for designing your own track.'

‘The STQ has given me a boost in my professional development. At the same time, it is not something you do quickly alongside your regular tasks, so it certainly impacts your schedule. Luckily I receive support for developing my own education, learn a lot from colleagues working in different disciplines and gain all sorts of new insights that I had never thought about myself. It will cost you a bit, but it is well worth the investment.'