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In the September issue of the Nieuw Archief voor Wiskunde mathematician Nelly Litvak wrote the first article in her column ‘Better than blackboard’!

"Welcome to the new column ‘Better than blackboard’! In this column we will talk about teaching mathematics at university. I will address problems that many university teachers face: students don’t show up at classes, cannot concentrate, stay passive, learn by mimicking old solutions, show no deep understanding, get scared of the proofs, and have no reliable pre-knowledge in follow-up courses. Emotions aside, I want to talk about mathematics education in the same way as we talk about mathematics: stating definitions, questioning assumptions, and being very critical to our intuition. And I want to look for solutions."

Illustration by Eline van Hove, made for the article in NAW.

A really interesting and inspiring article! We welcome everyone to read it. Change happes slowly, but it does happen! If you want to read more about teaching practices that empower students, you can also have a look at this article about mathematical whole-class discussions, a teaching method that Chris Kooloos from the Radboud University in Nijmegen is working on!