Timon Idema: always looking for what we don't know

News - 06 November 2019 - Communication TNW

From the five Teachers of The Year, Timon Idema was chosen to represent the TNW faculty in the next round of the election. "I think that's an honour, it's nice to get recognition in this way. Certainly because I like education very much."

Timon's broad commitment is one of the reasons why he is one of TU Delft’s Best Lecturers. "Education goes beyond the lecture hall. Every contact I have with a student has an educational aspect. I build up a working relationship with the students who do their final project with me. In doing so, we work together on the problem. This cooperation is evident everywhere, not only for me or for this election. There are many other good teachers, and together with the students we build upon the foundations of TNW."

Always asking questions
"What I always try to convey is that asking questions is good, and that I don't always know the answer either. Looking for the answer together is actually the best way to learn in an inquisitive manner. If I say something at lectures that has already been worked out in detail, it can give the impression that science is progressing rapidly and is always clear. However, research never goes directly from A to B and it has countless dead ends. There is so much that we don't know yet. I always tell students that here at the university they mainly learn how to solve problems and gain new knowledge. That's more important than the outcome of a project in itself."

Innovation is fun
Timon also likes to develop the curriculum. "Just because twenty years of telling the same story doesn't make anyone happy," he laughs, "and trying out new techniques is fun. For example, video lectures. That works just fine when it comes to a specific subject. It doesn't work with a series of lectures or even the entire study. Since it lacks the social aspect, the interaction with the student and the added value of university education. I can take what happens in the lab in the morning with me in my lecture in the afternoon. Sometimes this leads to questions that take me further. In this way, education gives me extra space to think about how something works."

During the <link teachingacademy education-initiatives education-day-2019-7-november>Education Day on Thursday 7 November 2019, the Best Lecturer at TU Delft will be announced. Timon Idema represents TNW.

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