News & Events

Inspiring teachers honoured

UNSW academics from Japanese Studies and Medicine have been named among Australia’s most inspiring teachers by the federal government. The prestigious Citation Awards recognise academic and professional staff who enrich student learning. Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, announced the 152 award recipients this week.

The UNSW Japanese Studies team in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences was honoured for “creating and sustaining a community of learners and speakers of Japanese”. The team consists of six lecturers who have spent the past 20 years delivering quality learning experiences to Japanese students across various faculties. UNSW hosts one of the largest Japanese programs in Australia, with more than 1500 students enrolled each year. Professor of Japanese Studies, Chihiro Thomson, said the team’s teaching expertise is evident in the consistently high results of students competing in the national Japanese speech contests. In 2011, UNSW students won two national titles and this year three students will compete in the national final. “Our team has developed techniques to attain high levels of ‘learner agency’ to promote motivation and help students feel responsible for their own progress,” said Professor Thomson.

Dr Patsie Polly and Gwyn Jones from UNSW Medicine were recognised for empowering undergraduate students in pathology research communication skills. “We encourage undergraduate students to explore the ‘role of the researcher’ by working together in groups,” said Dr Polly. “This award is true recognition that collaboration enhances learning.” Senator Evans said the Citation Awards re-affirm the crucial role teachers and staff play in delivering quality education and improving the student learning experience in Australian universities.

The awards will be presented at five ceremonies around the country over the coming months.

 Media contact: Fran Strachan | 9385 8732 | 0429 416 070