Did you have any idea that you were going to win an award?
“Of course I was surprised, because winning the Distinguished Teaching Award is not something you expect,” replies Dellestrand. “At the same time, it’s extremely gratifying. In some sense, you could maybe see it as a confirmation that you’re doing something right, both in terms of teaching and in terms of internal educational development work at my home department.”

He has no idea who nominated him for the award, but Dellestrand has heard rumours that it was some students on a Master’s programme in Entrepreneurship and Management.

You received the award for sparking students’ curiosity about economics and for using innovative educational tools.  
What are your tricks?
“I tend to think about different people I encountered as a student and think about things they did that I liked or disliked,” says Dellestrand. “I also tend to think about how I would like teaching to be if I were a student.”

Picking up good educational examples from colleagues in Uppsala but also from other universities around the world serves as a good source of inspiration for Dellestrand when it comes to developing and adapting his own teaching. He has experience from teaching at universities in Finland, Italy, Portugal and France.

“This has meant that I’ve met a lot of students in different university environments and have had to develop my palette of teaching tools,” he says. “And that is something that enriches my teaching at home in Uppsala.”

Interesting and engaging

When Dellestrand teaches, he aims to make it interesting and engaging. As a teacher, he considers it his task to stimulate the engagement and curiosity of his students. 

“I try to alternate more theory-based thinking with different examples and exercises that make the abstract dimensions more concrete,” he explains. Through various practical examples, I try to get students to discuss and ponder the way in which things they read about in the literature are actually reflected in their lives and in wider society. My hope is that students have the chance to be enlightened and see a practical application for their theoretical knowledge.”

Dellestrand has multiple small exercises to highlight different themes important to the course he teaches. The exercises themselves may not always be the most important aspect, but they serve as a way for students to think more creatively and broaden their perspective. 

What do you consider the most important aspect of teaching students?
“In addition to trying to stimulate engagement, having students who analyse and think independently, of course,” replies Dellestrand. “I’m pleased whenever – or if – I succeed in arousing their curiosity about different aspects of economics.”

Do you also contribute to the educational development of your colleagues?
“On a more informal level, I try to help and support them and give various tips to the department’s doctoral students and junior researchers,” replies Dellestrand. “This can range from aspects to consider when building a course to aspects to consider when building up a strong teaching portfolio.”

What will you do with the award money?
“Gosh, I haven't thought that far ahead!”