The first day of the international honors conference for me was all about inspiration. Talking to other professionals in the field of excellence and listening to succesful pioneers helped me sharpen the goal of our honours activities: inspiring our students and lecturers to become who they are and to fully put their talents to action. Simon Kavanagh of Kaospiloten spoke about their mission to create learning environments where students develop creative leadership skills. After that, Claire Boonstra shared her own personal experiences and introduced Operation Education: a network to innovate education.
I attended a presentation by Theo Bakker on a tool to analyze student data (see this article from page 10) to gain insight on excellent students. It was too short to fully understand it and to decide whether it can be useful to us.
After that, I was a part of the Lego-session with Simon Kavanagh. We formed a group of eleven people, each with his secret own task. In fact, we were instructed not to speak during the assignment. It was a great experience: we worked together very well (although we didn’t know each other and we didn’t know if someone else had a conflicting task). But we trusted each other, we were patient and we tried to understand eachother and cooperate. We were committed to the team. Our team finished first.
Later in the afternoon I spoke to several people of other universities. It was very special to conect with other people experiencing the same challenges in honours education. We went to the city centre aftrwards for dinner with a small HU-delegation. Very nice to have the time to talk about issues we are dealing with.
Pictures by Suzanne Unck