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Senior lecturer Erik Elfgren, elected as LTU's best teacher 2013 by Teknologkåren.
Senior lecturer Erik Elfgren, elected as LTU's best teacher 2013 by Teknologkåren.

Humor is important for the best teacher of 2013

Published: 19 November 2013

Erik Elfgren, senior lecturer in physics and energy engineering at LTU, received the best teacher award 2013 by Teknologkåren. Erik's teaching style is characterized by dedication and humor, while he also provides students with detailed feedback after the exam.

Senior lecturer Erik Elfgren has taught at LTU since 2002, when he was hired as a PhD student. Erik teaches physics and energy engineering in years 1, 2, 4 and 5. He is of course very happy about the award from Teknologkåren.

– It's very gratifying and encouraging to be appreciated by the students in the most concrete way, says Erik Elfgren.

What's the best thing about working as a teacher?

– The students! When I see how their eyes shine from understanding and to see how they develop from the first year to the fifth. Then it really feels that we give students a good education.

Whats your idea of a good teacher?

– Someone that is knowledgeable, committed, enthusiastic and with a sense of humor.

Have you had a teacher who inspired you?

– Many, though in different ways. Somebody has had a great pedagogical approach, another one had a good sense of humor, a third one had good structure, and so on. I've been inspired by several teachers.

In the motivation for your award, your humor is mentioned, is humor something you consciously use in your teaching?

– Absolutely! What makes you laugh is also memorable. Crazy (but relevant) examples or demonstrations are easier to remember. Moreover, they make teaching more lighthearted and raises the energy in the classroom, says Erik Elfgren.

Erik's three top tips to make teaching better:

1. Try to find the different, special and startling examples.

2. Be active. I like to demonstrate a phenomena by using my body, and let the students be active by allowing contemplation, discussions and actions.

3. Initially I was skeptical to the "new pedagogy", but I have begun to realize the benefits of purposeful teaching and examination.

 

Teknologkåren's motivation:

Senior lecturer Erik Elfgren shows a huge commitment in his teaching. Erik especially possesses an ability to inspire students to catch an interest in physics - an interest that grows among students with each lecture. Erik teaches with humor and joy. The dedication and interest Erik gives in his teaching leads to deep and thorough understanding among students.

As an examiner Erik finishes a course beyond ordinary teaching efforts. He gives elaborate solutions to exam questions. This shows Erik's awareness that learning does not only live in the lectures, but also after the course ends.