header lectoraat opvoeden en opleiden naar een duurzaam en democratisch samenleven

Educating and training for a sustainable and democratic society

The aim of the Educating and training for a sustainable and democratic society professorship is to put pedagogical action – the way in which teachers educate and guide development – on the part of teaching professionals back on the map. By drawing attention to the issue of pedagogical leadership, professor José Middendorp aims to foster a bright future for future generations. 

'Why do we have children? In education, that question is linked to: “why do we teach children”? Both questions make up the foundation of our professorship.'

- José Middendorp, professor

Mission and Vision

Current education is getting an increasingly broader remit in respect of the development of children, young people and students. Schools are often seen as a microcosm of society, as a community in which children, young people and students gain life experience and develop into critically conscious members of a democratic society. In recent decades, education has become excessively one-sidedly focused on cognitive development and achieving learning goals, which has meant the pedagogical role of teachers has fallen by the wayside. In addition to general learning objectives, education and teaching should focus on ‘human skills’, on shaping the person, on helping children, young people and students to find their place in the world with self-confidence and resilience. A complicated task, to be sure, and one with which the professorship aims to assist teaching professionals in carrying out. 

Connection to education

In the teacher training programmes themselves, there is likewise a need for a rethink of the pedagogical basis of the teaching profession. The professorship aims to answer the question of what pedagogical professionalism is. Why do we have children? In education, that question is linked to: ‘why do we teach children?’ Both questions make up the foundation of the professorship. 
Finally, the professorship focuses on the professional conduct of managers and administrators in education. The education sector has become increasingly subject to the pressure of accountability and a regulatory burden. For administrators and managers in particular, this has a direct influence on their actions and decisions and pedagogy/teaching has become subordinate in many cases. Managers and administrators should choose a pedagogical outlook in order to facilitate the pedagogical actions of teachers. In other words: lead by example. 


Thurday 6 April José Middendorp was officially sworn in as professor of this professorship. Watch the video and read more about her inaugural speech below. (in Dutch)


Download the inaugural speech here


If you have any questions, please get in touch

Professor Dr José Middendorp

Sustainable Development Goals

This professorship contributes to...