DIES LEGENDI 2018
On 15 November 2018, the second Dies Legendi of Friedrich Schiller University took place in the auditorium of the University Main Building with the ceremonial presentation of the Teaching Awards. In the context of this event, the focal points in the work of the Academy for Teaching Development ALe so far were outlined, one year after its establishment. The Dies Legendi took up the impulse of the DIES LEGENDI 2017 and followed the suggestions of the German Council of Science and Humanities by focusing on the question of a strategy for university teaching and its relevance–not least for lecturers and students. The ALe’s panel of experts had dealt intensively with the question and opened the discussion to the university public.
Professor Mechthild Dreyer from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz opened the day with a keynote speech on the topic of ‘University teaching in times of Bologna’. Her many years of experience as Vice-President for Teaching and Learning at the University of Mainz provided a valuable input to the panel discussion in the afternoon.
Presentation of the Teaching Awards
With the presentation of the Teaching Award 2018, the University of Jena acknowledged outstanding achievements in teaching and exemplary ideas in the categories ‘Best course concept (general)’ and ‘Cross-border forms of teaching’. The award in the first category was given to Daniel Löffelmann (Institute of Educational Science) for the seminar ‘Rousseaus Émile’, while Dr Jacob Eder and Dr Tobias Freimüller received the award in the thematic priority area for the seminar ‘Erinnerungskultur in Israel. Totengedenken, Holocausterinnerung und “deutsche Spuren”’.
Presentation of funded teaching projects
In March 2018, the ALe had announced four funding lines for the first time. The panel of experts decided to provide funding for seven teaching projects, which were presented during a poster tour. Afterwards, those present could engage in discussions about different innovative approaches to teaching.
Panel discussion ‘Teaching Constitution – Sense and Nonsense?’
The controversial debate on the pointed topic ‘Teaching Constitution – Sense and Nonsense?’ made it clear that the University’s efforts to achieve high teaching quality must move beyond the declarative.
Professor Dr Sebastian Henn, spokesperson of the panel of experts, emphasized that further consideration of the principles of good teaching will involve identifying specific fields of action and proposing suitable measures and funding instruments. Reflection on common principles should be the basis for the development of strategic approaches that deal with questions of heterogeneity and diversity, among other things. In this way, the ideal of the university as teaching and learning community will be pursued further.