Free time for debates and culture

‘Dialoogtafel’ searching for new meaning

  • Organiser Arie Jansen wrestles with moderate interest.
  • His ideal: separate hours for culture and debate.

‘The interest varies.’ Says Arie Jansen. After the lack of interest in the last session, he placed a message on Sharenet to ask if people could help think of new concepts of filling in the ‘Dialoogtafel’. It’s not the fault of the subjects, he says: ‘An example. We were talking together with Henk Hagoort and Duco Adema about the future role of the teacher. This is going to be, when it’s all put into motion, fundamentally different. This is interesting for everybody. Then I ask myself: why is there a lack of interest?

This couldn’t be because of the subject. Jansen has heard several explanations for the lack of interest. ‘I don’t have time. Or: I’m too busy. There will also be people who say: the meetings within my study programme are sufficient. The risk of an attitude like this is the fact that it might be hard to look over that ‘wall’ of your own study programme. And the current big societal challenges are crossing the borders of the study programmes.’ Therefore, Jansen considers it to be a plight of the university of applied sciences to keep inviting people. But is something as soft as a dialog still of this time? Jansen: ‘Dialog is still of this time! If it is about the big questions, such as what is happening on this planet, in our country, then there is a dire need for real dialogue where people can show their worth and finding solutions in a serious manner.

Then you shouldreate a safe environment where people can actually meet each other. Does he have an idea where this is supposed to go? ‘Do you know what would be amazing to me? If we could just plan an hour twice a week, around midday, an opening in the schedule for every student. An hour where everybody has time and where Windesheim will offer a culturally oriented programme with performances, debates, meetings, playful performances, things like that. We need to make time for that. Somebody once said that we have cut away the rugged edges of education. Everything depends on time, on efficiency. Of course, nobody wants to start early, and everybody wants to go back home at a reasonable time as well. The pressure on scheduling is on the hours between 10 and 4, and something like that needs to be taken back somewhere. That is difficult. We need to organise a rugged edge where Windesheim can become a real community. (MH)

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