Tom Maassen

Tom Maassen studied philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and in Jena (Germany). After his studies, he worked from 2010 as a lecturer-researcher at the Metamedica department of Maastricht University. Themes that occupied him there were biomedical ethics and health law, phenomenology of the body and philosophy of science. From 2016 he worked at The Hague University of Applied Sciences for the Nursing study program on the development of ethics education, and was responsible for the collaboration between the study program and the professional field. Together with Andries Hiskes, he wrote and taught the elective course The Art of Caring, in which students from care programs worked together with students from various art academies. At the time, Tom was also a researcher at Jacco van Uden’s Change Management lectorate. There he worked, among other things, on the concept of ‘care aesthetics’. A care aesthetic approach to care practices questions the perception and physicality of professionals, a heavily underexposed theme in care education, according to Tom. The body of the healthcare professional is usually characterized by absence, both in education and in practice. The question is how there can be a presence.

Tom has been working at Leyden Academy since July 2022. Here he further develops the concept of care aesthetics theoretically and practically for elderly care. He does this in collaboration with artists (performance, dance, music, social design) and with theater scientists. One of his interests is woodworking, which he also likes to use in his research. In addition, he is working with Desiree Bierlaagh’s ‘Practical Wisdom’ (MBO Rijnland) practorate on educational innovation, and he is exploring the possibility of an art of living for people who apparently do not (anymore) pursue anything.

Care aesthetics, physicality, educational innovation, art of living