Birgit Boogaard one of four nominees for national Teacher of the Year title

Published on
April 12, 2023

Birgit Boogaard, lecturer at Knowledge Technology and Innovation (KTI) is one of four nominees for the Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg (ISO) title Teacher of the Year. On 24 April, she will give a mini-lecture about her field of interest, just as three other nominees, Ed van Beeck (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Erik-Jan Broers (Tilburg University), Jim Portegies (TU Eindhoven), A jury consisting of two lecturers and three students will then decide on the winner. "This nomination is fantastic, I hope it will be a very inspiring afternoon, with beautiful encounters," says Boogaard.

Photo Guy Ackermans. Birgit Boogaard receives the award for Wageningen’s teacher of the year in 2022.

Boogaard teaches courses like "African philosophy" and "Social Justice Technology and Development". Last autumn, she won WUR's Teacher of the Year award . Subsequently, it is customary at WUR for the winner of this election to be nominated for ISO's national election. Boogaard feels a bit ambivalent about the competition element of it. "To me, there is some ambivalence about it. Education is not something individual, you do it together. With students and other teachers. Whereas now I am the focus of attention - as a teacher. Besides, a competition is about winners and losers, it implies judgement. And that is precisely what my courses are not about. Instead, it is about connection and allowing differences to be there," she explains.

On the other hand, she finds the appreciation expressed in the nomination a huge honour. "In my eyes, on the 24th of April, there will be four fantastic teachers telling something about their education and field of expertise. About subjects close to their hearts. I am really looking forward to that. It is a beautiful moment to bring African philosophy under the attention of a wider audience in higher education in the Netherlands."

Good teaching inspires and motivates

The Teacher of the Year election aims to reflect on the importance of good teaching. "Good teaching can inspire, motivate and advance students," says ISO president Terri van der Velden. "With this election, we put some talented lecturers in the spotlight and give lecturing the appreciation it deserves." The finally selected lecturer will receive the honourable title, as well as a prize designed by HKU student Ellen Lensink. Moreover, the winner will hold an honorary position in the Comenius network and receive a scholarship to spend on educational innovation.