Three University of Newcastle academics have been named among the best teachers in New South Wales.
Associate Professor Marj Kibby, Dr John Anderson and Dr David Palmer will each receive an esteemed NSW Quality Teaching Award (QTA). The awards are presented by the NSW Government to teachers who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and student achievement.
Only four awards will be presented to teachers in the higher education sector.
The recipients go through a rigorous selection process which includes being observed in the classroom with students, reports by three nominators and discussions with students, parents and colleagues.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Kevin McConkey, said the awards were testament to high standard of teaching by University staff.
"Today's awards bring to 10 the number of University of Newcastle academics recognised with Quality Teaching Awards over the past three years," Professor McConkey said.
"It is a real honour for the individuals, and I congratulate them on their achievements. The awards also show that the University is highly competitive in our teaching and learning within the higher education sector."
The awards were presented by the NSW Minister for Education and Training, the Hon. Verity Firth MP, at a ceremony in Sydney on Friday night.
Information about individual QTA winners is included on the following page.
Associate Professor Marj Kibby
School of Humanities and Social Science, Faculty of Education and Arts.
- Associate Professor Kibby's approach to teaching is providing activities that embed learning in an authentic context that is of relevance to students and allows them to reflect on, apply and evaluate what they are learning.
- It is important to Associate Professor Kibby that students 'own' their education - that it is meaningful, has value beyond the degree and that they take control over their learning.
Dr John Anderson
Senior Lecturer, Deputy Head of School, School of Law, Faculty of Business and Law.
- 'Job-readiness' is a core principle of Dr Anderson's teaching philosophy, as is an enduring commitment to problem-based learning, incremental development of practical legal skills and providing the opportunity for deep learning.
- Dr Anderson believes placing students in the context of real life situations through the formulation of realistic, relevant and challenging hypothetical problems is an invaluable learning tool.
Dr David Palmer
Senior Lecturer in Science Education, School of Education, Faculty of Education and Arts
- Dr Palmer uses a 'strategy' for attitude change using three elements - success, novelty and relevance - to address the reluctance of many teachers in training to consider science. Negative attitudes to science changed to positive in just one semester.
- In addition to attitude change, Dr Palmer uses a range of techniques to enhance students' higher order thinking skills, including dramatisations, humour, science trivia and modelling.