Foto Maurice Gesthuizen
Foto Maurice Gesthuizen

Educating with Maurice Gesthuizen

Maurice Gesthuizen has been an associate professor in the Sociology programme since 2007. He teaches various courses for sociology students, as well as statistics courses for Communication Studies and Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies students. In a short interview, he tells us more about his enjoyment of teaching and his challenges. 

Since this academic year, Maurice has been coordinating the course Van Maatschappelijk Probleem naar Beleidsadvies (From Social Problem to Policy Advice) for first-year bachelor's students. "I am teaching this course for the first time this year and in doing so, I find it important to see and contribute to students' development. Both in terms of skills, knowledge and insights into the areas of science and personal development. That's what makes teaching inspiring for me." 

"The atmosphere created in a lecture hall and the interaction between student and lecturer make teaching really fun."

Maurice considers lecturing a top-class sport. "I always feel a healthy tension beforehand. It's like functioning at a hyperalert level for an hour and a half, where your senses are fully open. I love that, because you notice that you are very receptive and it gives a lot of positive energy. At the same time, you also notice that it takes a lot of energy. The atmosphere created in a lecture hall and the interaction between student and lecturer make teaching really fun." 

According to Maurice, there are always challenges. "A small challenge, for example, is having too much material for one lecture. I would like to be finished by the end of the lecture, but I don't have the time to cover everything. I now experience bigger challenges in my role as coordinator. I rolled into that role and am therefore involved as both student, because I am learning, and teacher. As a lecturer, you think a lot about whether the course offers what you want to offer students. That's a big challenge, but a really fun one." 

"I can only teach well if I am myself. Authenticity is important for that, and that also means that I dare to be vulnerable."

Maurice says his students are a great source of inspiration in his lectures. "I am impressed every time by the sharp questions from the room. A long time ago, I was working as a study group lecturer and got a question that I tried to explain three times. It didn't come across well, and the question kept coming back. Eventually, I ignored the situation and moved on to the next question. I felt so vulnerable and wanted to escape the situation. From that, I learnt that it is okay to be vulnerable in front of the group! You are allowed to admit that it is a sharp question that you will come back to later. That was a huge learning experience. I can only teach well if I am myself. Authenticity is important for that, and that also means that I dare to be vulnerable." 

Contact information

Organizational unit
Faculty of Social Sciences