Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes Fotografie
Dies: the university’s thirty-fifth anniversary
Dr. Dirk T. Tempelaar, senior lecturer, department of Quantitative Economics. This is how the winner of the 2010 Education Award is described on the homepage of the School of Business and Economics. And one does not get this award just like that; one has to have “delivered a major contribution to education”. What is so special or important about Tempelaar?
A contribution for which he received much credit, were his mathematics summer courses for first-year students of Economics and International Business. “Some students have deficiencies, for example because they did not have their previous education in the Netherlands. Another reason - in particular in the case of German students - is that they do social training after secondary school and then need to brush up on their knowledge. I hear good things about the summer courses. They benefit a lot from them.” Mathematics and statistics are Tempelaar’s subjects. Not the most popular or the easiest ones, right? “That is true, but as a lecturer you can help the students get to grips with this difficult subject matter.”
Tempelaar is interested in the way in which students learn and how they can get the most out of themselves. “How can you support their learning with solutions from information technology? Can they use computer programmes to take in certain knowledge better? We want to use such programmes to get an idea of the level of the students.”
The School of Business and Economics had a cause for celebration last year as well. Gwen Noteborn and her colleagues received the 2009 Education Award for their Second Life project.
Who is he?
Dirk Tempelaar was born in Delft and grew up near Arnhem. In 1981, he graduated with honours in econometrics at the University of Groningen. He came to Maastricht in January 1984, at a time when there was not even an economics faculty. “It was part of General Sciences. Together with a group of other young people, such as Tom van Veen, Hans Peters and René Verspeek, we worked out the curriculum for the Faculty of Economics. It was a difficult job; there was no economics study anywhere in the world that was based on the PBL model. We were given six months to come up with a programme.”
Tempelaar is a lecturer and a researcher at the School of Business and Economics and University College, but has also been active for some time in representative advisory bodies. Until last year, he was a member of the university council and for years before that a member of the faculty council.