Universities should be places where students educate themselves scientifically and actively according to Humboldt’s ideal of education. Humboldt’s ideal of education refers to the holistic education of the arts in combination with the respective study direction. Today, the term often refers to the central idea of the unity of research and teaching at universities and various other institutes of higher education (in contrast to pure teaching professorships without research obligation). Students should attain the qualification to think analytically and critically to gain knowledge and a holistic education.
As a teacher, I see myself as both facilitator and delegator. On the one hand – based on a cognitivist approach – it is most important for me to prepare and present the teaching content to make individual learning as effective as possible. In this context I refer to Paul Ramsden’s “The aim of teaching is simple: it is to make student learning possible.” (see Ramsden’s blog . Enhancing the intrinsic motivation of my students is a prerequisite for my teaching success.
On the other hand – based on a constructivist teaching philosophy – learning should be self-regulated, self-organised and active. This implies that the teacher’s control and impact on the learning process should be as low as possible to simultaneously enhance the students’ independent and self-reflected problem-solving ability. To conclude, I see my role as a teacher as a supporting instructor (in terms of the cognitivist teaching philosophy) and tutor (in terms of the constructivist teaching philosophy).
My most important teaching aim is that the students acquire professional, methodical and social skills as well as self-competence. Also, skills such as time management, (self-)organisation and the ability to think independently and to question what they’ve been taught are just as important as intelligence and the ability to take criticism and to deal with conflicts. Learning best practices is essential and thus students should be qualified to work scientifically sound and to present their scientific results – oral and written – meeting a high standard.