Saying that they opened up a whole new world for me can sound a touch pretentious, but I will let that pass as both these subjects have been tremendously important in my professional life and to my way of thinking. Commitment, knowledge and the ability to see students and their needs are, to my mind, a kind of crucial trinity. Along with being able to genuinely listen.
But how are teachers rewarded, ranked and valued in the academic system? Not sufficiently highly if you ask me. Having said that, our ranking system has changed and now includes leadership and teaching achievements, in addition to publications. That is laudable – but like society in general, teachers do not enjoy the status that their efforts and importance perhaps deserve.
If we are to be able to live up to our aim that all researchers should be teachers and vice versa, we must increase opportunities to work together in teams and be able to get support and inspiration from colleagues. Doctoral students with teaching duties need good role models and sounding boards in their turn.
In addition to the 15 university teaching and learning course credits all teachers at KTH are expected to have obtained, opportunities to gain access to the latest findings within learning and teaching are obviously also required. How can we take advantage of the opportunities digitalisation offers in a smart and efficient way to benefit teaching, is an illustration of just such an issue.
KTH also offers teacher training as a combination of subject knowledge within mathematics, technology, chemistry and physics and engineering know-how. It was incredibly pleasing that our subject teacher training for upper secondary school mathematics was rated as high quality in the most recent UKÄ inspection .
That the art of teaching is now being seen as a skills set in its own right, is an important development. But here, we can go even further.
At KTH, we are continuing to develop university teaching and learning to be able to always offer opportunities for continuing professional development.