Stories#088 Cornelise’s drive to help others

#088 Cornelise’s drive to help others

The story of Bob’s transforming waste is the story of Cornelise’s drive to help others

Learning, learning and more learning. That’s what life is all about for Cornelise Vreman-de Olde. Not only does she want to keep developing herself, but, as Coordinator Educational Professional Development, she particularly enjoys helping teachers develop as well. Programme Manager Materials & Energy Bob Hoomans deals with very different things, but finds lifelong learning just as important as Cornelise.

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Monday 19 september 2022 

Learning from each other’s perspective

Cornelise: ‘Bob, I didn’t know you before this conversation. But when I told my husband that you were going to interview me, he said: ‘Hey, I know him!’’

Bob: ‘Haha, it’s a small world sometimes. You studied Applied Physics, right? What are you doing now?’

Cornelise: ‘That’s right. I liked physics at secondary school and wanted to keep working with it. But physics at university was just too abstract for me. I wanted to be more involved with people, so I started teaching. After different positions at UT, I am now Coordinator of Educational Professional Development at the Centre of Expertise in Learning & Teaching. I work in a support department where we help teachers develop their teaching skills. How do you build your courses? What teaching formats do you use? How do you check whether a student has learned something? How do you stay in touch with your students? These are the kinds of questions I deal with as a trainer and educational consultant.’

Bob: ‘Have there been many changes in that area over the last 30 years?’

Cornelise: ‘Definitely. For example, back in the days the teacher would be lecturing, while students just listened. We can’t imagine working like that anymore. It’s much more about teachers and students working together now. Moreover, students do more group work than individual projects, where it used to be every man for himself. Also, subjects weren’t very connected to each other. With the Twente Educational Model, we are now looking to integrate subjects all the time.’

The Twente Education Model tries to ensure consistency between subjects

Cornelise Vreman-de Olde

‘What exactly is that model?’

Cornelise: ‘The model was developed a while ago and defines the way we design our teaching. In bachelor programmes, it means that education is coherent every quarter. For a subject like Dynamics in Applied Physics, students learn the corresponding mathematics and relevant experimental skills in the same quarter. This allows them to conduct research and immediately apply theory in practice. For master’s degrees, it would be interesting to explore how we can strengthen the connection with our environment – so with industry and society. For example by having groups of students work on issues that external parties deal with.’

Bob: ‘Does sustainability play a part in your job?’

Cornelise: ‘Not directly, but I do think our department can contribute to it. I know that at UT there are many courses where climate change and the energy transition are a theme, for example. It would be nice to get an overview of all these courses so that within each education programme we can bundle them into a module. Many students are very interested in this, so I definitely see opportunities there. I have already offered to work on this, but these things take time.’

Bob: ‘There is a Shaping Expert Group on sustainability and I myself run the Negative Emission Technologies programme for the Centre for Energy Innovation. That centre has an education branch that, among other things, maps out where energy-related education is provided at UT. One way or another, we should be able to link that to your work.’

Cornelise: ‘Yes! Suppose you have a topic like that, how do you turn it into good teaching? We give advice on that, so feel free to pass by some time.’

Bob: ‘Good to keep in mind. How would you describe your coaching style?’

Cornelise: ‘Supportive and inquisitive. I always take a close look at someone’s question. What is behind it? And who is the person behind it? I enjoy finding out more about people. To do this, I think it’s important to be a good listener and to be able to empathise with someone. I want to bring people further. Help them develop. And also learn from them myself. These are two elements of my way of working.’

I want to bring people further, help them develop and learn from them myself

Cornelise Vreman-de Olde

Bob: ‘Where do you think that came from?’

Cornelise: ‘That’s a good question. I just like seeing others succeed – and myself as well. To keep developing. Lifelong learning. I already loved that idea when I was studying to become a teacher. But I also see it on the street, for example. A little boy recently tried to count to one hundred using paving stones in front of my house. He made it, so I challenged him to count even further. According to him, he eventually got to ‘ten hundred’. To me, that was amazing to see.’

Bob: ‘Do you see yourself in the same role in 15 years’ time?’

Cornelise: ‘I’ve only just started, so I could keep on doing this for a while. In the coming years, I hope we will be able to strengthen the professional development offerings for teachers even more. I think the selection of master classes plays an important part in this. For instance, how do you best teach intercultural students? Or what is the best way to use both physical and online teaching? I think we still need to make steps in that area.’

Bob: ‘You work in a completely different field than I do, but I enjoyed hearing about your perspective. Some of the things you talk about are also important in my work.’

Cornelise: ‘I did too. Nice to get to know each other like this. Please drop by some time if you want to know more!’

Dr. Cornelise Vreman-de Olde (1968)

studied Applied Physics at UT. Because she was interested in learning and teaching, she went on and studied to become a physics teacher. After several years of teaching, she further developed her expertise in learning and teaching with a PhD project entitled ‘Learning by designing assignments’. Since completing her PhD, Cornelise has worked as a trainer and educational consultant at UT’s Centre of Expertise in Learning & Teaching (CELT). In 2020, she started working as a Process Facilitator, before becoming Coordinator of Educational Professional Development two years later. Within Shaping2030, Cornelise is project leader of the Shaping Expert Group Educational Innovation.

Bob Hoomans (1971) 

studied and obtained his PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Twente. After his studies, Bob started working at DSM at the Research department in Geleen as an expert in flow simulation. This was followed by roles as project leader Materials Science Center, chief Technology Bureau MSC and recruiter for Research. After eighteen years, he returned to his roots and to the UT campus, as programme manager at MESA+.