The Artist as Teacher programme - “A massively positive experience”

21 February 2023

When an artist or a designer is all you’ve ever wanted to become, your whole education has been focussed on achieving exactly that and today you find yourself also being a teacher, your toolkit may be in want of some extra skills.

That’s why last November KABK started the teacher development programme The Artist as Teacher. This programme aims to give teachers at any stage of their career stimulating learning experiences to increase their knowledge and skills in educating and coaching art students.

Jesse Greulich, Maaike Roozenburg and Collette Rayner signed up for the programme.
Four months in we asked them how they fare:

Jesse Greulich only graduated herself at KABK in 2021. Soon after that she joined the Art Plan Programme, where she teaches Fashion & Textile at multiple secondary schools. Besides that, she designs tools and spaces for learning environments.

“I joined the The Artist as Teacher programme because there is beauty in constantly evolving. Also, I saw an opportunity to not only teach and educate myself more in didactic strategies, but also for my own design practice. To get to know more of learning environments.”

Jesse’s favourite thing she’s learned so far is the art of questioning, she says.

“How can you formulate open and non-judging or suggestive questions? That is quite hard! It’s something I’ve been really trying to implement and actively think about when I teach now. What I also like, one part of the course is to go and visit others in their educational practice. So to join either a lesson or a workshop. That’s been really interesting. You learn so much from your peers!”

Basic Qualification Teaching Skills

Also joining the programme is Maaike Roozenburg. She doesn’t teach at KABK, but as Head Master Industrial Design she has interactions with students in many ways.

“I have been waiting for this course for a long time. For a very formal reason: after completing the programme I obtain the certificate Basic Qualification Teaching Skills for teachers in Higher Education, which includes the Basic Qualification Examining. Both of which I formally need to have as a Head Master. Besides that, before I came into this position five years ago, I was a teacher myself. I find teaching super interesting. The more you learn about it, the more you want to know.”

Making students feel safe

Like Jesse, Maaike is positive about learning new questioning skills.

“The questioning techniques we get taught are about helping people with their problems. Not by solving it, but in a way that someone can solve the problem on their own. You can use these techniques not only with students, but also with other staff members and teachers. I’ve already applied them in student’s progress discussions. I got the impression students felt more safe with this manner of asking questions.”

Popping the bubble

Collette Rayner is coordinator of the Fine Arts programme as well as an artist and writer. Before she started working at KABK, she taught at several art institutions in the UK.

“I joined this programme because we’re moving into a new phase in our department. We want to change and freshen up the way things are done. My co-head is also doing this course. We have nice feedback discussions that we use for our development for the department. Also, I have a lot of student contact, so it made an awful lot of sense to be involved in didactical training.”

So far, the programme has been a massively positive experience, Collette says.

“It brings together teachers, coordinators and educators. So often if you’re in an office or you’re working with your students, you are in your own tiny bubble. And this course popped that bubble. Big time. It’s a great way to bring people together to discuss educational tools and techniques.”

Fun, educational and interesting

Asked if they would encourage colleagues to sign up for the course, Jesse, Maaike and Collette answer with a firm ‘yes’. “It is fun, educational and interesting”, Maaike says.

“It gives you a lot of new insights and teaching tools.”

Collette agrees, but that is also where she has a small point of criticism. “So far, the course has been very pointed towards active teaching. As a coordinator I sometimes have to make a bit of a leap to how to apply certain elements to the day-to-day things I’m working with. Maybe that’s something to take into consideration for the next course.”