PhD defence Jamilla Notebaard: Innovative education at the Dutch university around 1900

Glasdia’s voor een projectielantaarn (ca. 1900). Foto: Jamilla Notebaard
Slides for an optical lantern.

Op 22 March, Jamilla Notebaard will defend her PhD dissertation ‘Visual Instruction: The Use of the Optical Lantern in Dutch Academic Teaching Practices, 1890-1940’. In the late nineteenth century, the number of students increased. The introduction of the optical lantern was a fitting response, Notebaard observes, and its impact on academic teaching was profound.

The optical lantern in Dutch teaching practices

In her dissertation, Notebaard explores the role of the optical lantern in knowledge transfer at Dutch universities between 1880 and 1940. To interpret the different roles of projection, she chose to examine three academic disciplines: botany, art history, and dentistry.

Projecting photographic light allowed professors to illustrate their explanations more effectively, Notebaard explains. All students now saw the same images and the projection made it possible to show more examples in shorter time. She cites training dentists, for example, who learned to recognise and diagnose malformations in the mouth through the images shown by professors.

Notebaard writes that this research into daily teaching practices by means of projected glass slides, allows us to gain a better understanding of the different focal points in knowledge transfer, of the relationship between textbooks and lectures and between theory and practice. She noticed show an academic discipline shapes itself, while also sustaining itself through the teaching practices at the university. Teaching is never static, she concludes, and this requires the commitment of both professors and the larger academic community.

Start date and time
End date and time
Hybrid: online (click here) and at the Utrecht University Hall
PhD candidate
J. Notebaard
Visual Instruction: The Use of the Optical Lantern in Dutch Academic Teaching Practices, 1890-1940
PhD supervisor(s)
Prof. F.E. Kessler
Dr N.H. De Klerk