Teaching Excellence and Learning Innovations Awards
The Faculty of Education and Arts has established two annual Awards to recognise and reward the outstanding efforts and ingenuity of our academic staff in continually advancing the student teaching and learning experience.
The FEA Excellence in Teaching Award exists to encourage and reward high quality teaching by members of the academic staff across all modes: online, multi-mode or blended, and face-to-face.
The FEA Learning Innovations Award commends a particular contemporary practice in learning and teaching that has been successfully implemented and evaluated in a scholarly way within the past three years.
While the Excellence in Teaching Award recognises overall teaching excellence, the Learning Innovations Award is for a particular innovation or example of excellent practice.
The 2015 Learning Innovations Award was awarded to Dr Nick Carter, Dr Duncan Cook and Dr Chris Matthew for their development and delivery of a unique interdisciplinary undergraduate field school in Rome (The History and Geography of Ancient and Modern Rome). The innovation lies in the field school's dynamic and distinctive combination of interdisciplinary and field-based study in an overseas context, and its creative mix of experiential, reflective, cooperative and problem-based learning strategies to enhance the student learning experience.
Teaching Excellence Awards
Three Teaching Excellence Awards were conferred in 2015 - to Dr Jen Couch, Dr Victoria Carruthers and Dr James Marland.
Dr Jen Couch (Youth Work) - Jen's award highlights her work in challenging students to examine their own experiences and their thinking about young people, and her creative approach to developing and implementing a curriculum that provides student with insight into their future profession and the values that are required when working with marginalised young people.
Dr Victoria Carruthers (Modern and Contemporary Art History and Theory) - Victoria's award highlights her commitment to students and her knowledge and enthusiasm for student-centred approaches, as well as her innovative, empathetic and passionate approach to creating a connected curriculum. Her positive influence, motivation and inspiration to critically engage students with the world through art and visual culture is well evidenced.
Dr James Marland (Drama) - James' award was strongly centred on his creative and highly humanistic approach to supporting, inspiring and motivating students, as well as his strong critically reflective stance in cyclical curriculum development. James' approach to curriculum differentiation and the creation of a collaborative and safe learning environment is to be applauded.
Four Teaching Excellence Awards were conferred in 2016 - to Dr Jann Carroll, Dr Haydn Aarons, Associate Professor Michael Griffiths and Dr Matthew Ryan
Dr Jann Carroll - Jann’s award highlights her passion and advocacy for equipping preservice teachers who are able to demonstrate their understanding of theory, practice and critical inquiry as classroom practitioners. Jann is to be commended for the ways in which she integrates her teaching areas, research interests and constructivist pedagogy.
Dr Haydn Aarons - Haydn’s award highlights his passion and deep interest in supporting vital skill development in research methods units and inculcating the importance of scientific rigor. His commitment to students and his enthusiasm for sociology and preparing students who are theoretically and methodologically well prepared for a range of careers in public service, community development, social policy and governance is commendable.
Associate Professor Michael Griffith - Michael’s award was strongly centred on his innovative learning and teaching for different contexts: the Clemente program for the IACE; the ACU indigenous program through Yalbalinga; the Marist Fathers’ Aquinas Academy in Sydney and for contextualizing literary studies. His focus on enhancing students’ experience with the latest technologies helping them create meaningful connections with texts, with each other and with the global knowledge environment is recognized here.
Dr Matthew Ryan - Matthew’s award draws upon his deep knowledge of the discipline of Literature, his innovative approach to designing units and assessments. A strong focus on accessibility to learning in the discipline of Literature is the guiding principle for Matthew’s teaching practice. Central to this is his development of a pedagogy that is inclusive of students new to Literature or students who might be otherwise marginalised.
Four Teaching Excellence Awards were conferred in 2017 - to Dr Aisling O'Donnell, Dr Belinda von Mengersen, Ms Elvis Richardson and Dr Robyn Bentley-Williams.
Dr Aisling O'Donnell - Aisling's nomination illustrates her excellent work as a teacher and her work is reflective of an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to teaching, combining contemporary problem-oriented analysis, theoretical rigor and critical pedagogy. Her teaching is strongly student-centred and technologically dynamic.
Dr Belinda von Mengersen - Belinda's award highlights her approach to the development of real-world, high-stakes learning experiences and assessments that are consistently designed to foster multidisciplinary, collaborative solutions to design problems, to inspire in education students deep understanding of textiles' capacity to adapt. Her approach to student learning privileges thoughtful, ethical, and individual responses to complex realities, including inherent environmental and moral concerns.
Ms Elvis Richardson - Elvis demonstrates excellence in the creation of dynamic and authentic assessment tasks that engage students with experiences and outcomes that produce design outcomes beyond the class room. Her approach to holistic assessment draws on her own creative and professional experiences and uses real clients as well as self-generated projects to produce meaningful design outcomes that contribute to our communities and the common good beyond the classroom.
Dr Robyn Bentley-Williams - The strength of Robyn's nomination recognizes a strong strength-based approach where see strives to build a dynamic community of learners' culture where each individual's unique perspectives are encouraged and valued, as a means of developing deep understanding on controversial, diverse socio-cultural issues influencing inclusive practice. Her pedagogical approaches are interwoven with developing productive respectful relationships with students and colleagues.