For the second consecutive year the Dutch broadcasting corporation (NTR) in cooperation with the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam) organised the election of the best Dutch History teacher in secondary education. Schools are asked to nominate history teachers that stand out because of their pedagogical subject skills and their inspiring personalities.

The jury thoroughly scanned and discussed the long list over one hundred and fifty applications, and twenty school visits were made in order to select a top ten of potential winners. Each of these ten candidates were filmed while teaching. The jury consisted of well known historians, lecturers in history education, history specialists from the Rijksmuseum and NTR television and a representative of EuroClio, and discussed the video clips extensively to decide on a shortlist of three nominees. These three candidates were submitted to a final surprise assignment on the day of the election: they had to design a signature history lesson using the Rijksmuseum as a historical playground.

It was a close call but eventually the jury chose Martijn Vermeulen as the winner. He managed to make a big impression on the jury: “Martijn is able to surprise, inspire and to challenge students while making sure that their historical knowledge and skills develops”. Martijn adds that he wants his history lessons to affect students: “They should be puzzled, inquisitive, investigative and critical, and at the same time history should be full of action both inside and outside school and fun to do”. He modestly adds: “I don’t believe in being the best history teacher, but I would like to be remembered as being a passionate history teacher”.

Contributed by Huub Oattes.