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Minister Bussemaker of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) has awarded the Comenius Teaching Fellow grant, worth €50,000, to the education project of Mieke Lopes Cardozo (lecturer in development studies), and the project of Inti Soeterik, Fadie Hanna (lecturers at the academic PABO) and Tugba Öztemir (president of the platform Amsterdam United). Using the grant, they will be able to implement small-scale innovations and improvements in their own teaching.

Foto: Monique Kooijmans

All the winning projects, ten in total, aim to promote equal opportunities for all students in higher education.

Educational innovation at the University of Amsterdam

Mieke Lopes Cardozo
Mieke Lopes Cardozo. Foto: Bram Belloni

Critical Development and Diversity Explorations (CDDE)

Students and lecturers of the Research Master’s in International Development Studies form a highly diverse and international community. Mieke Lopes Cardozo’s project embraces this diversity and aims to help students and lecturers better understand each other, work together and form a supportive learning environment. Students will be encouraged to take the lead in developing a course, thinking about their own specific learning needs that haven’t been sufficiently addressed in the current curriculum. In this co-creation project, participants will jointly develop critical thinking in order to recognise and unlearn deeply rooted societal structures of discrimination and exclusion, and formulate new, more socially just and transformative insights, identities and rolls based on alternative pedagogical methods.

The project was developed by and will be implemented with students and lecturers, with contributions from guests from policy and practice. The learning experiment will begin in 2017 and the new module will be part of the Research Master’s curriculum starting in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Future teachers as torchbearers for social equality

Inti Soeterik and Fadie Hanna, lecturers and researchers at the Academic PABO Amsterdam (UPvA), and Tugba Öztemir, president of the platform Amsterdam United, will develop an innovative module for the fourth year of the Bachelor’s programme at UPvA. In this module, students will work on diversity issues in education, adopting a critical, interdisciplinary approach. This should result in more diversity sensitivity and awareness of inclusion and exclusion processes and their impact on students and learning processes. On the basis of literature, practical methods, assignments and maintaining a thought record, students will be challenged to examine questions from their own teaching practice.

The project emerged from a brainstorm session with a group of lecturers (UpvA, AUAS, UvA), academic PABO students, alumni and members of Amsterdam United. The project will run from March 2017 to August 2018. The new module will be part of the UpvA curriculum starting in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Comenius programme

The Teaching Fellow projects have a duration of 12 to 18 months. The project leaders are generally young lecturers with a minimum of two years’ teaching experience. The budget for the grants was made available by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

For more information (in Dutch) about the Comenius Programme, see