Als Referent für hochschuldidaktische Workshops schöpfe ich aus meiner langjährigen Erfahrung als Dozent für schreibintensive literatur- und kulturwissenschaftliche Seminare, aber auch aus meiner Praxis als lösungsfokussierter Coach.
Meine Lehre ist erfolgreich, weil ich eine empathische und wertschätzende Haltung gegenüber Studierenden praktiziere, aus der sich spezifische Kommunikationsweisen und Methoden in Lehre und Betreuung ableiten. Diese Methoden gebe ich in meinen Workshops für Unconditional Teaching an Kolleg*innen weiter.
Als lösungsfokussierter Coach kann ich auf einen reichen Fundus an konstruktiven Fragen und Hilfsmitteln zurückgreifen, die Ressourcen aktivieren und Selbstwirksamkeit stärken. Das hilft mir im Unterricht und in den Workshops. Für Unconditional Teaching biete ich auch individuelles Lehr-Coaching an.
Meine wissenschaftlichen Forschungsthemen drehen sich unter anderem darum, wie unsere Gesellschaft Kindheit als Identitätskategorie konstruiert, was Zombie-Filme mit Biopolitik zu tun haben oder wie queere (Selbst-)Repräsentation funktioniert.
Für Studierende habe ich den Schreibratgeber Writing in English Studies (externer Link) veröffentlicht.
As a workshop trainer for teaching in higher education, I draw on many years of experience as a lecturer for writing-intensive seminars in literature and cultural studies, as well as on my practice as a solution-focused coach.
My teaching is successful because I practice an empathetic and appreciative attitude toward students, from which I derive specific communication styles and methods in my teaching and mentoring. In my workshops for Unconditional Teaching I pass these methods on to my colleagues.
As a solution-focused coach, I can draw on a wealth of constructive questions and tools that activate resources and strengthen self-efficacy. This helps me in the classroom and in my workshops. For Unconditional Teaching, I also offer individual coaching for teachers.
My scholarly research topics revolve around, for example, how our society constructs childhood as an identity category, what zombie movies have to do with biopolitics, or how queer (self-)representation works.
I have co-authored a writing guide for students: Writing in English Studies (opens new window).
Meine Essays / My essays
Wir haben einen wunderbaren Brief von einem unserer ehemaligen Studierenden bekommen, den wir gern teilen möchten.
Viele Studierenden haben eine ungesund stressige Alles-oder-Nichts-Haltung gegenüber ihrer eigenen Arbeit. Sie entspannen sich etwas, wenn sie lernen Prioritäten zu setzen, und wenn sie sich erlauben, bei weniger wichtigen Leistungen „Mittelmäßigkeit“ zu akzeptieren, um Zeit und Energie zu sparen. / Original English version: On ‘embracing mediocrity’.
[DE] In diesem Dezember feiern wir das zweijährige Bestehen von Unconditional Teaching! [EN] This December we’re celebrating two years of Unconditional Teaching!
Warum unser konventionelles Verständnis von Empathie problematisch ist und wie Empathie als Praktik unsere Lehre verbessern kann. / Original English version: On doing empathy.
For Christmas 2020, Katharina and I received a box full of lovely letters from students who express their appreciation for our teaching. :)
As teachers, we need to frame plagiarism as a technical problem, not a moral one. Learning how to avoid plagiarism is an integral part of learning what academic writing is about. In fact, once students understand how and why to write as scholars, plagiarism will become a non-issue.
Teaching is about establishing and sustaining connection between curious minds to create and to share ideas and knowledge. Exams are about generating distance and social barriers to safeguard privilege. They are harmful to students and harmful to scholarship.
This is a call to teachers and supervisors to take proactive steps to keep in (virtual) touch with your students in a time of crisis.
Acknowledging our vulnerability as teachers by addressing difficulties in class openly is a powerful strategy for connection and learning.
In my writing supervision I focus on process instead of results and on reflection instead of adherence to rules to help students experience more agency over their writing when they become aware of their own writing strategies.
Spending thirty minutes of one class session on honest talk about stress and suffering and coping and healing can have an enormous positive impact on our students’ lives.
Perfectionism is a fear-based attitude towards failure that inhibits learning and encourages self-sabotage. We can fight it by strengthening the inner constructive critic to focus on processes of revision and improvement.
When students don’t do my prep assignments, I teach them how to ‘downscale’ homework instead of not doing it at all. This leads to homework being done more consistently as it empowers students to consciously manage their resources and priorities.
I found that I can relieve the writing anxiety many of my students have by de-emphasising normative writing advice and facilitating an appreciative, non-evaluative awareness of their individual writing strategies.
Students often have an unhealthy all-or-nothing attitude toward their work which increases stress levels. They relax a bit when they learn to prioritize their work and allow themselves to ‘embrace mediocrity’ on low-stakes tasks to save time and energy. / Deutsche Version: ‘Mittelmaß’ anstreben.
In my experience as a teacher, students apologize far too much. I think that is troubling, so I try to reframe their ‘failure’ to meet some formal expectation or other as a chance to take control of their own learning.
Students often express that my responses to their writing are in consonance with their own self-assessment, which motivates them to revise their papers. The specific form of my responses facilitates this congruity, and here’s why.
Why our usual thinking about empathy is flawed and how empathy as practice will improve our teaching. / Deutsche Version: Empathisch handeln (statt empathisch sein)
In this entry, I draw a parallel between the mindset of Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) and our concept of Unconditional Teaching.
When I respond to student writing, I want to take it seriously as scholarly work with a communicative intent. This 6-step-method of writing responses makes my feedback as effective as possible both in terms of its usefulness for students and in terms of the time it takes me to do.
Feedback that is given on late-stage draft versions of student writing instead of on finalized papers is more meaningful to students because they can immediately use it for a revision of their work. Especially if the feedback is an appreciative response.
Against the rhetoric of competency-based teaching, I set a rhetoric of teaching strategies which focuses on the resources that students already have rather than on their presumed deficiencies.
Writing academic papers is an incredibly involved procedure which brings together many different skills. Often students achieve better results and more confidence about their work when the writing is scaffolded through a series of interconnected steps.