Department of Economics and Business inspires high school teachers across Denmark

The Department of Economics and Business has just held the first inspiration day for 92 high school teachers. Seven employees from the department provided the participants with inspiration, new angles and perspectives for their teaching within fields such as economics, globalisation and democracy.

2012.01.26 | Martin Williams Strandby & Mette Gebauer Johannsen

On Monday 16 January, 92 teachers from high schools and business colleges from across the country were gathered at ‘Gymnasielærer-dagen 2012’ (‘High School Teacher’s Day’) at the Department of Economics and Business. The program for the day was entitled ‘The Globalised International Community’, which included seven employees giving presentations about the various consequences of globalisation. The idea is to make ’Gymnasielærer-dagen’ an annual event.

A contribution to increase the quality of future students
The thought behind ‘Gymnasielærer-dagen’ is a desire to create a launch pad to strengthen the co-operation with the high schools and business colleges and to communicate the new research of the department to the teachers at first hand, which will ultimately be passed on to the pupils, who one day may become students at the department.

- ‘Gymnasielærer-dagen’ gives us an opportunity to communicate our new ideas and research at first hand to a professionally interested group. We want to specifically contribute to the teachers’ professional competencies and inspire every class. Our goal is to give potential future students an interest in the theories within the field of economics, says Associate Professor Kristina Risom Jespersen, Director of Studies at the Department of Economics and Business.

Thrilled participants
High schools and business schools from across the country were represented at the event and most of the participants left the event with a smile after having been professionally updated and inspired to pass on their newly gained knowledge to their students.

One of the participants was Bettina Klara Uhrbrand, who teaches business courses at Struer Statsgymnasium:

- It’s good to have a professional link to the universities as it strengthens our teaching, thus benefitting the students, she says, before explaining that she, already after the first two presentations, was thrilled with the event.

- I think it’s very exciting and I can use it with immediate effect in my classes. I already use figures and data from the Danish Welfare Commission and these presentations take it to another level, says Bettina Klara Uhrbrand.

Another satisfied participant was Jørgen Nøhr, who teaches social science and business administration at Silkeborg Gymnasium.

- The presentations are very good. They are at a high level, but not too advanced. It is a professionally strong update, which all in all gives me a good overview, which I can use in my classes, says Jørgen Nøhr.

- The presentations have received plaudits from everybody and several participants made sure to request a similar event next year. I’m pleased that the level of commitment for the event, shown by everybody, has been high. The participants have given many suggestions to subjects that can be used in the planning for 2013 and the following years. We have all gained useful information, so it has been a really good day, says Kristina Risom Jespersen.

A really good example of knowledge exchange
Vice-Dean for Knowledge Exchange, Frank Pedersen, praises the event and its aim:

- As we all know, the Danish society will face many challenges and opportunities in the next few years and it is important that our researchers are given the chance to communicate their latest results regarding issues such as this. ‘Gymnasielærer-dagen’ is a very specific meeting between the research community and the high school teachers and it paves the path for the latest knowledge to be used in classes at high school school level, which obviously has great significance from a social point of view, says Frank Pedersen.

But there are also other reasons to support the event.

- It increases our chances to recruit good students to our degree programmes. As our subject areas don’t figure that often in the curriculum at a youth education programme level, it is important for us to show these important issues that our researchers are working with, says Frank Pedersen.

‘Gymnasielærer-dagen 2012’ (High School Teacher’s Day 2012) consisted of four blocks: Welfare Economics, Business Economics, Globalisation and Democracy and Influence.

The 92 participants came from standard high schools and business colleges from across the country.

The Department of Economics and Business will now use the reactions of the first group by listening to their experiences of the event and how its material has been used in their classes. The evaluation will be used to make ‘Gymnasielærer-dagen’ 2013 just as successful.

Further information
If you would like to know more about ‘Gymnasielærer-dagen’ or get ideas on how to increase the knowledge exchange between the university and society, contact Kristina Jespersen or Frank Pedersen:

Kristina Risom Jespersen

Associate Professor and Head of Education at the Department of Economics and Business
Department of Economics and Business
Telephone: (+45) 87 16 55 34

Frank Pedersen
Associate Professor and Vice-Dean for Knowledge Exchange
Department of Economics and Business
Telephone: (+45) 87 16 49 94

Aarhus BSS
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