Evelyn Kroesbergen, nieuwe decaan Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
Evelyn Kroesbergen, nieuwe decaan Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen

The passion for education of Evelyn Kroesbergen

In this column lecturers discuss what motivates them in education, to counter the discussion of the ‘burden of education’. This time Evelyn Kroesbergen, professor in Orthopedagogics and from 1 October dean at the Faculty of Social Sciences, explains what gives her energy in education.

Where do you get your enthusiasm for education from? 

‘From contact with students, especially when you see them continuously developing and when you have the feeling you can contribute. That is why I love the breaks during lectures, when students come to me with personal stories. But my favourite type of education is individual supervision during internships and theses. You spend an entire year with the student and guide them through their professional (and often personal) development. In addition, during internship supervision I get a glimpse of the different institutions where students intern and thus also an insight into the issues that are at play in the professional field.’ 

What educational moment has stayed with you? 

‘The most special moments are related to what I described above: the student who came to me in tears after a lecture on giftedness, overwhelmed by the recognition that ‘that probably explained why I have always felt different’, or the student who came to a revelation during an internship interview and showed an amazing development afterwards. But another special moment was when I fainted in front of a packed lecture hall. In hindsight I was way too sick to give a lecture, but then again, you don't cancel a lecture, right? It was a lesson for me, which I love sharing with colleagues: your health comes first, and lectures can be cancelled if truly necessary (and other solutions are often possible).’ 

Where do you get inspiration from for your education? 

‘As vice dean of education, I have many conversations with students and lecturers about education and how we can make it better and more fun, from which I learn a lot. I am also involved in the TLC research of Kim van Broekhoven, who studies how you can promote students’ creativity – and that also requires creativity by lecturers.’ 

What is your favourite educational approach? 

‘I find it important that students are pushed to think by themselves, that their creative and critical thinking skills are truly stimulated. I prefer to throw them in the deep end but will of course remain close by to help them when needed. On top of that, I give them as much free space as possible to allow them to give their own interpretation to education, that stimulates motivation and creativity.’ 

What tips do you have for lecturers? 

‘Be creative!’ 

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