A Teacher Certificate for New Academics?

Some more interesting news from the Netherlands. According to an article in Dutch newspaper the Volkskrant, new teachers at Dutch universities will need to get a teaching certificate. All universities will require starting assistant professors/lecturers to get such a certificate within a few years from the start of their position. At one university – that already used a similar system – early career academics spend around 260 hours for the teacher training.

I’m happy with the attention given to teaching, especially because of the current over-emphasis on research (because it is easily quantifiable and internationally comparable). But 260 hours…? Two or three weeks would be enough, I would think. I already heard one Dutch academic on radio expressing fears for ‘the terrorism of educationalists’…

But what I am most surprised about is the fact that the training is meant for those that will start an assistant professorship or lecturer position. I am sure that this will be a major distraction for early career academics. Considering that a Ph.D. is a normal requirement for this position, why not integrate the training in the Ph.D.? Considering that the Dutch Ph.D. training is predominantly research based (as opposed to course-based), there should be some time to include a couple of weeks of teacher training in that.

And one more question for my readers: do you know of any other countries that require a similar teaching qualification for starting assistant professors or lecturers?

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