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Jelmer Evers

Jelmer Evers: changing education from the ground up

Jelmer Evers, a Global Teacher Prize finalist in both 2015 and 2016, delivered an inspirational TEDx talk at the TEDxAmsterdamED event in April, titled ‘Changing education from the ground up’. Jelmer discussed some of the ideas from Flip the System, the book he co-edited with René Kneyber. You can watch Jelmer’s talk below and learn more about his ideas by following him on Twitter.

The TEDxAmsterdamED event attracted a diverse group of influential and experienced researchers, visionaries and authors, all of whom share a determination to deliver change to the education systems of not only the Netherlands but the world.

Jelmer, who currently teaches history at UniC in Utrecht, was inspired to become an educator by an economics teacher who encouraged him, at the age of 17, to push himself to transcend average academic performances.

Born of his determination to provide his students with a holistic education, Jelmer’s ideas have helped shape the Dutch education system. He was nominated for the Dutch Teacher of the Year award in 2012 and is building an international teacher leadership network to help speed reform.

His teaching approach is geared towards encouraging students to be independent learners through the creation of personal learning environments. He advocates a humane and democratic approach to education and the international teacher-led initiative he has developed offers an alternative to test-based accountability.

In his history classes, Jelmer works mostly with interdisciplinary topics in which subject content and skills are acquired by students while exploring real-life challenges; social media and gaming play key roles. His examination tools, available in the form of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for K12 learners, have been used by thousands of students across the Netherlands.

As well as Flip the System, Jelmer also co-edited The Alternative, an influential education title in the Netherlands.

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