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New Professor at the Teacher Training Program

02 April 2024
Photo: Stella Dekker

Joana da Silveira Duarte has been working as a professor at the teacher training program since March 1st. Originally from Portugal, she conducts research on diversity in education in the areas of language and culture. "Education is a place where you can practice how to interact with each other."

"In my research, equal opportunity is central. Minorities often occupy a position on the margins of society. In school, they may sometimes underperform. People think: immerse them in Dutch, and everything will be fine. But we know that when there is more attention to diversity, these individuals can perform better. This, in turn, leads to a better position in society."

Bulk Discount 

"I noticed in the mathematics education at the Alfa College that the assignments tested language more than mathematical skills. If the assignments are in your language, you can discuss them at home, for instance. Additionally, the assignments didn't culturally resonate. There was a lot about discounts, even bulk discounts. This is something that other cultures may not be familiar with. For example, in Portugal, people don't like to talk about discounts. My advice was: include some assignments on other topics as well."

Minor Adjustments 

"Teachers need to learn how to address diversity, of course. It doesn't mean you have to speak twenty languages, but there should be space for diversity, and differences should be handled well. Minor adjustments can make a big difference. For example, by identifying difficult words in assignments in advance."

Place to Practice 

"Dutch children also benefit from more attention to diversity in the classroom. After all, society is diverse. The current education system often leads children to grow up in bubbles, which results in polarization. But after your education or studies, you still have to work together. Education is a place where you can practice that very well."

Social Mandate 

"As a professor at the teacher training program, I want to focus more on diversity in the coming period. Diversity is everywhere, and our mandate is not just about subject matter: we also have a societal mandate. You can't force teachers to address this topic more; it has to come from within. But by providing certain assignments and teaching methods, I hope to make people aware of their own cultural perspective."

Last modified:02 April 2024 09.57 a.m.
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