Ideas to Act on

How can my actions actively contribute to successful situations of teaching and learning?

“There is no such thing as a space free from power relations.”

In every teaching relationship asymmetrical power relations between teachers and students develop due to the former’s expertise. (üben & musizieren 1/2021)

University teaching is characterized by offering most diverse formats of tuition – from lectures, seminars, practices, discussion courses, exercises and excursions to instruction for small groups and ensembles and one-to-one artistic lessons. The latter is almost exclusively found at universities of the arts and regarded as indispensably essential for any artistic education. The settings of these different formats can vary concerning group size, whether they are held on regular or blocked dates, in digital, analogue or hybrid form etc. They are affected by parameters such as the number of participants, room sizes and available equipment and when in the day the format takes place. And to an even greater extent by their specific contents, learning objectives and the configuration of the respective groups of students. Teachers therefore face the challenge of adapting their teaching to the specific circumstances. Successful teaching entails practices of teaching and learning that are attuned to aspects of gender and diversity and geared towards critiquing power. The aim is to design teaching offers in a manner that renders achieving the desired objectives possible for everyone.

Even though our Ideas to Act on primarily address teachers, they can also be of help for students in their individual learning practices. They invite you to

  • reflect upon your (subconscious) expectations,
  • experiment with a multitude of design possibilities concerning class content and instructional setting,
  • become aware of the fact that you as a teacher are setting an example,
  • acquire and impart gender- and diversity-specific knowledge in order to expand your personal potential to act,
  • acknowledge the hierarchies as well as the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion present in university culture and the classroom setting.

The following Ideas to Act on help you gain competencies in relation to gender and diversity and invite you to share your own practices with each other. They incorporate firsthand experiences, practical instructions, checklists and links to recommended guidelines and collections of tools already available. In each Idea to Act on, the plurality of knowledge, competence, experiences and perspectives of those who contributed is reflected also in the different text formats present.