Professor Jahraus, what do you understand by good teaching? Professor
Oliver Jahraus: The Vice President for Teaching and Studies is actually not the right person to ask about this issue. Why? Because good teaching takes place in the faculties and in the individual disciplines. It is rooted in the excellent research engaged in in these contexts, to which it is always linked in one way or another. Research is the embodiment of teaching. And if we don’t first address the issue of research, we have no way of thinking about teaching.
I personally see my job as moderating dialogue about what good teaching is. I want to bring people together who, within the specific conditions and constraints of one of the top research universities, serve the cause of and strive toward good teaching.
The program Lehre@lmu came to an end when federal government’s Qualitätspakt Lehre (Pact for Quality Teaching) expired. So what part does Good Teaching Day still have to play?
Tag für gute Lehre (Good Teaching Day) is intended not only as a source of motivation but as a monitoring tool, too.Good teaching is a topic that is always present on the ground, where teaching takes place: in the various disciplines and faculties. The nominations we get for research prizes for students and teaching innovation prizes for lecturers give us a clear overview of what is happening at the faculties. And I have to say it is quite impressive to learn about the research projects being tackled and the didactic context in which they take shape!
In other words, the faculties and disciplines make every effort to give students a clear understanding of the context of their research?
Not only that. They create spaces in which, even in early study phases such as the bachelor phase, students can concern themselves with their own projects. There are projects that investigate ecosystems in other parts of the world, and others that address udder diseases in cows. I think that is fantastic.
One thing is absolutely clear: Good teaching is not going to end now that Qualitätspakt Lehre funding has expired! The people who have shaped and advanced Lehre@lmu to date are still hard at work. Better still, there are a large number of new and cross-faculty formats – on “artificial intelligence in higher education”, for example – that attach great importance to the topic of tuition. And that is not to mention the commitment shown by distributed institutions such as the Munich Center for Teacher Training (MZL), the Center for Leadership and People Management and ProFil.