Learning how the younger generation is preparing to face new challenges

Monday, 08. April 2019 um 15:45 Uhr

Der Gastwissenschaftler Lenin Martell berichtet im Interview, mit welchen Impressionen er aus Deutschland nach Mexiko zurückkehrt. Der Politikwissenschaftler gehört zu einem Team, dass die Kooperation zwischen den Universitäten Toluca und Hildesheim ausbaut und pflegt. Er befasst sich mit Entwicklungen im Journalismus und der Rolle öffentlicher Medien im politischen System Mexikos.

Die Universität Hildesheim und die Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (UAEMex) in Toluca kooperieren seit 2010 unter anderem in den Bereichen Interkulturelle Kommunikation und Übersetzen. Bisher haben mehr als 50 Studentinnen und Studenten aus Hildesheim und Toluca an dem Austausch teilgenommen. Außerdem beinhaltet die Zusammenarbeit den Austausch von Dozentinnen und Dozenten sowie gemeinsame Veröffentlichungen, so entstand zum Beispiel ein Sammelband zur Fremdsprachenvermittlung.

Es gibt zahlreiche Kooperationsabkommen zwischen deutschen und mexikanischen Hochschuleinrichtungen. Die Zusammenarbeit zwischen der Universität Hildesheim und der Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México ist allerdings besonders: das Verbindungsbüro der mexikanischen Universität in Hildesheim ist die erste und einzige ständige Vertretung einer mexikanischen Hochschuleinrichtung in Deutschland.

Studierende und Dozentinnen und Dozenten, die Fragen zum internationalen Austausch haben, können das Team des <link io/>International Office</link> der Universität Hildesheim kontaktieren.

Interview with Lenin Martell

“I learned many pedagogical aspects from co-teaching with another professor”

Prof. Dr. Lenin Martell is a Professor at the School of Political and Social Sciences in the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico in Toluca. As a guest lecturer he worked at University of Hildesheim. In an interview he talks about his experiences in Hildesheim.

You have worked, researched and taught in Hildesheim as a visiting scholar, now you are back in Mexico. What was exciting?

I would say three things: Learning about what the younger generation thinks about global issues – such as poverty – also, how they learn, how they behave, how they are preparing to face new challenges in the professional arena. I had many international students in my classes at University of Hildesheim – from Rumanians to Indians or Mexicans, among others.

Students tend to have more information about global issues, such as gender equality and environment, though having more information does not make them more sensitive to these issues. They seem to show take on a more intellectual posture as opposed to a broad understanding on global issues.

With which impressions are you going back home?

I returned to Mexico with many new professional and life experiences. The concept of higher education is changing very dramatically around the world, and it is difficult for the policy makers, administrators, and scholars to adapt to new educational realities. For example, we want to teach in a more active-participatory way, but I perceive that many colleagues do not exactly know how to develop those skills in the classroom. There is a growing need to work one-on-one with students, but it seems to be hard for both students and professors to learn these dynamics. Also, let’s face it: Students are not reading at the same pace as previous generations used to. This is a big problem. Students feel more empowered and freer to be opinionated rather than providing strong arguments in class. Also, despite students being quiet young, they struggle to learn new methods or dynamic approaches within the class. We live in a global world, but it doesn’t mean students are able to adapt to new environments.

In addition to this, universities need to develop media literacy. International students seem very well informed on current worldwide events. But it is difficult for them to decode concepts such as poverty or injustice – even identifying them. Their academic and personal formation would benefit from these skills. 

On the other hand, I learned many pedagogical aspects from co-teaching with another professor. I learned them first-hand from a German educator, and I think she experienced the same thing. That means exchanging good pedagogical practices. For example, what to expect academically from students; how to tackle a specific problem in class; which approach to give a theoretical class. This is very rewarding, because one rarely has the opportunity to receive feedback from another professor.

How do you want to strengthen the cooperation between Toluca and Hildesheim?

Since being home I have been able to strengthen our ties with Hildesheim. Dr. Felix Koltermann from the Institut für Medien, Theater und Populäre Kultur just spent two weeks at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM) as a visiting scholar. He taught two workshops on Visual “Storytelling and Photojournalistic Imaginary” and “Visualizing Conflict in Contemporary News”. He also gave a keynote presentation on “Photojournalism in the era of Post-Truth”. Both students and academics welcomed Koltermann’s work in Toluca with gratitude. For example, students at the graduate program on Peace and Development studies were able to experience practical knowledge and were very happy to learn about photojournalism. According to these students, Koltermann made them think about knowledge and skills they had never considered before. Some were even motivated to include the study of photos in their research.

I will also continue to promote student and scholar exchanges with Hildesheim, and I will continue collaborating with other professors at Hildesheim.

Questions: Isa Lange

Lenin Martell ist einer der Gastwissenschaftler aus Toluca, der die Forschungs- und Lehrkooperationen zwischen Mexiko und Deutschland pflegt. Die Universitäten in Toluca (Mexiko) und Hildesheim wollen die Zusammenarbeit in den Bereichen Kulturwissenschaften, Informatik, Pädagogik und Sozial- und Organisationspädagogik sowie Sprachwissenschaft ausbauen. Gruppenbild: Daniel Kunzfeld, Porträt: Isa Lange