Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Research Our research OIKOS Research

Platform: Classics & Education


Dr Lidewij van Gils (University of Amsterdam)


The fields of classical languages and cultures have a long educational tradition. Both this tradition and the current aims, tools and context in classical education are the focus of attention of the OIKOS Platform of Classics & Education. This Platform unites researchers, teacher trainers and teachers to discuss topics of national relevance and share experiences and research results.

The activities of this Platform are open to members of OIKOS as well as interested colleagues who are not formally associated with OIKOS. In fact, one of the very goals of this Platform is to bring together expertise from inside and outside the OIKOS community. Furthermore, the Platform supports various subgroups:

  1. Shared Antiquity
  2. Research in Teaching Methodology and Current Debates
  3. Teachers in Secondary Education with a doctorate degree (Gepromoveerde VO-docenten)
  4. Classics in Primary Education (Klassieken in het PO)

Shared Antiquity

The accessibility and inclusivity of our field has become the focus of a fundamental discussion, both nationally and internationally; classicists (in a broad sense) are challenged to critically assess whether their field is as accessible and inclusive as it could be; moreover, they are challenged to bring about change in conditions and situations in order to become a more accessible and inclusive field. The following researchers form an organizing subgroup in order to continue the discussion within the OIKOS-community. In 2021 they organized a two-day conference Shared Antiquity.

  • dr Miko Flohr (UL)
  • dr Lidewij van Gils (UvA)
  • prof. dr Gerry Wakker (RUG)

Research in Teaching Methodology and Current Debates

OIKOS Classics & Education intends to increase the strength and visibility of research in teaching methodologies and to provide a platform for current debates on the accessibility, content, tradition and innovation of our field. We conduct and supervise research and are available to assist teachers in secondary schools who would like to write research proposals on the education of classics or ancient history. Secondary school subjects most relevant to OIKOS are Ancient Greek Language and Culture, Latin Language and Culture and (Ancient) History in the Netherlands and Ancient Greek and Latin in Flanders. These secondary school subjects combine aspects of language, literature, culture, history and reception. Important aims are to increase the linguistic and cultural awareness of the students. Students learn to read/ translate and interpret original ancient Greek and Latin texts and to reflect on the language of these texts. They become acquainted with the cultural and historical contexts and later receptions of these texts and of non-textual artefacts from the same context. Important domains within the curriculum are myth, philosophy, drama, architecture and art. Together with colleagues in the fields of pedagogy, applied linguistics and discourse psychology, we can investigate, for instance, historical reasoning by means of ancient sources, the acquisition of Latin and ancient Greek, the processes of understanding and/ or translating ancient texts, literary skills, philosophical (or critical) thinking skills or the development of cultural awareness within the context of Classics. The following researchers and educational experts are currently active in this group:

  • dr Suzanne Adema (UL)
  • drs Daniel Bartels (UL)
  • dr Ronald Blankenborg (RU)
  • drs Marijne de Ferrante (UL)
  • dr Lidewij van Gils (UvA)
  • prof. dr Katja De Herdt (UGent)
  • drs Sandra Karten (UL)
  • dr Suzanne Luger (UvA)
  • drs Chelsea O’Brien (UvA)
  • dr Kokkie van Oeveren (VU)
  • dr Jörn Soerink (UL)
  • dr Paul van Uum (RU)
  • drs Alexandra Vereeck (UGent)
  • drs Paul Visser (UvA)
  • drs Dynke van der Wijk (RUG)

Teachers in Secondary Education with a PhD degree (Gepromoveerde VO-docenten)

Classicists or Ancient Historians or Philosophers with a PhD degree working in secondary education bring together experience in both education and research. Moreover, they have been trained to bring a complex project of several years successfully to an end, to look at educational processes with a helicopter view, to collaborate and discuss all kinds of issues with international colleagues and to combine and compare different tasks and working environments. As a result, they have developed a skill set which first of all benefits their students and their schools. Secondly, they are often willing to contribute to academic classes in their fields of expertise (as a guest lecturer) and to initiatives which bridge the gap between secondary and tertiary education or the wider audience. On this page you will find names, expertise, current employment and contact details of (some of) the members of this group. This subgroup also regularly meets online to discuss topics of shared interest.

Classics in Primary Education (Klassieken in het PO)

One of the results of the OIKOS conference Shared Antiquity (February 2021) about the accessibility and inclusivity of our field is a coordinated focus on informing primary school pupils, their parents and teachers about Latin and ancient Greek languages and cultures. There is a subgroup of Dutch and Flemish teachers and researchers exchanging experiences and working together to set up new or better programmes. On 26 January 2022 OIKOS Classics & Education co-organized the international online conference Monsters in the Classroom on Teaching Classics in Primary Education. Active members of this subgroup are:

  • dr Suzanne Adema (UL)
  • drs Jennifer Berends
  • dr Tazuko van Berkel (UL)
  • dr Ronald Blankenborg (RU)
  • drs Lola Bos (UvA)
  • dr Evelien Bracke (UGent)
  • drs Petra Buffing
  • drs Jacco Calis
  • drs Kris Gielink
  • dr Lidewij van Gils (UvA)
  • drs Kristel Henquet
  • drs Stevie van Loo
  • drs Alette Rosing
  • Fenna Visser


The Dutch Coordinating Body Sustainable Humanities (Regie-Orgaan Duurzame Geesteswetenschappen) and the Steering Committee Subject-Based Teaching Methodology (Stuurgroep Vakdidactiek Geesteswetenschappen) have recently boosted the research field by funding two initiatives. One is the project 'Mastery of Teaching Methodologies in Classics' (‘Meesterschap in de Vakdidactiek Geesteswetenschappen’,, in Dutch), which focuses on research of humanities education at the secondary level. OIKOS member Lidewij van Gils is in charge of this project for the field of classics.

The other initiative is the DUDOC-ALFA programme (in Dutch) which provides grants for secondary school teachers who intend to obtain a PhD within the field of research of teaching methods.

Thus, both initiatives are connected to OIKOS, and the OIKOS Platform Classics & Education aims to make this collaboration and the research field visible to other classicists.


We intend to provide a platform to researchers, teacher trainers and teachers who share an interest in research on the education of the Greek and Latin languages, cultures and history. You can join us by contacting Lidewij van Gils.

We aim to stimulate an exchange of ideas and research on the education of the languages, literature, culture, history and receptions of ancient Greek and Latin. Meetings on this subject will be organized and communicated by means of the OIKOS agenda and the OIKOS Newsletter.

We are willing to help teachers in secondary schools who intend to write a research proposal. Dutch teachers may obtain funding for PhD-projects from the DUDOC-Alfa programme or the Doctoral Grant for Teachers from the Dutch Research Council (NWO Promotiebeurs voor leraren). Teachers are welcome to join our meetings and/or contact Lidewij van Gils or one of the other members of the platform for advice.

Last modified:01 February 2023 09.58 a.m.