prof.dr. F.W. Dekker
Friedo Dekker, professor of clinical epidemiology, believes: "You are the one who learns the most from teaching". Planning lessons is also a learning experience; if he can explain what he is going to teach later in the course to himself, he feels satisfied. It must make sense and be logical. He makes connections, questions his own work and prepares detailed examples of his research practice. His slides form the structure of the lesson and at the end of each course, he makes notes on the slides, with areas for improvement, and how to optimize the student's learning environment the next time.
When he is teaching on the course, he is enthusiastic and well-prepared and his classes are very interactive. He triggers students’ knowledge to come to life through group work, by asking the right questions and allowing students to make connections themselves. In this way he helps them understand the logic and makes them use their brains. When they think they know the answer, he sows seeds of doubt or asks himself out loud whether it can always work in this way. He does this to make them think more flexibly and force the group to develop their own thought process. In order to develop the understanding of those students who are not quite as far as others in the learning process, he sometimes simplifies his explanation of reality. His teaching improves with experience and each year he develops more tools and material to help his students get to the core of the subject. "Teaching is incredibly enjoyable."
In addition, the teaching team keep each other sharp. When they give courses together, they give feedback on form and content. As a new researcher at the Department of Clinical Epidemiology, you gradually build up experience by attending the course first, and then giving classes while being supported by experienced teachers. Friedo Dekker is now experienced enough to teach all groups. Teaching maths to secondary school pupils offers just as big a challenge as giving a course to a group of nephrologists. His aim is to achieve understanding with his target group, whoever that may be, and is satisfied when he gets students thinking and they tell him that his explanations are clear.