When One Teaches Three Can Learn: Best practices in engaging teaching methods from Leiden University College
This is a book born out of passion. Our students’ passion for learning, our academic staff’s passion for teaching, and my passion for LUC ... With this collection of interviews, we hope to inspire educators across the globe to reflect on their own teaching philosophies, to use new teaching tools and methods, and to connect academic teaching to the world outside of academia.
This is a book born out of passion. Our students’ passion for learning, our academic staff’s passion for teaching, and my passion for LUC. If there was ever a secret ingredient to engaging teaching, it would have to be passion. It is passion that makes teaching a vocation rather than a duty, and that makes students not just remember what was said but also how it made them feel, fundamentally enriching the learning process.
Science fiction author Robert Heinlein once said “When one teaches, two learn”: the student and the teacher. Although certainly true, I believe that when one teaches, ideally THREE learn. The student, the teacher, and someone else who wants to learn about teaching. I have been that third learner during a series of classroom visits at LUC, and not only did I learn a lot about the materials being taught, I learned even more about what it means to be an excellent teacher, especially when it comes to inspiring active student engagement in- and outside of the classroom.
Just as one of the two who learn in Robert Heinlein’s quote actually represent larger numbers of students, the third learner in my adaptation of the quote should also ideally reflect a larger number of learners. This thought is the inspiration for this book: a collection of interviews with our academic staff about their teaching philosophies, and specifically about teaching methods that actively engage students. In the spirit of truly engaging teaching, the interviews, design, artwork, and photography have all been done by students, and their own favorite teaching experiences are also represented in the book. The goal of the book is to multiply the number of third learners who can be inspired by teaching philosophies and methods they might not have thought about before.
This book will not just be shared within Leiden University, but also worldwide in the context of the Humanities across Borders project. LUC is a consortium member in this international project that aims to mobilize educators across world regions to develop and share embodied teaching and learning practices that go beyond classroom- and textbook-based pedagogies, and cultivate the civic role of universities. With this collection of interviews, we hope to inspire educators across the globe to reflect on their own teaching philosophies, to use new teaching tools and methods, and to connect academic teaching to the world outside of academia.
You are warmly invited to join me in being that third learner that I have been at LUC, and to share in the passion for teaching that I am lucky enough to witness on a daily basis.
Prof. dr. Judi Mesman
Dean of Leiden University College