A Tauranga lecturer is celebrating after being awarded $20,000 at the Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards in Wellington on Wednesday.
Waikato University senior tutor Chris Brough won the highly coveted award for sustained teaching excellence – along with 12 academics around the country.
Chris Brough loves inspiring students to become active lifelong learners.
The Faculty of Education lecturer says she was so stunned to hear of her win she asked her husband to repeatedly check the email before she believed it.
“Receiving this award is a real honour and inspires me to carry on making a difference with my students. It’s confirmation that my practice is effective.”
Despite not enjoying school as a child, Chris made the ‘metamorphic transformation’ from a hospital telephonist to educator and soon discovered she loved teaching.
She says her teaching is shaped by her own experiences.
“I first became a teacher because I was passionate about motivating and teaching children. It was my goal to make learning meaningful, positive and highly engaging to every student in the class.
“Now as a tertiary educator, I believe it is my role to inspire my student teachers to become active lifelong learners who are knowledgeable about learning, teaching, and literacy, and who subsequently make a positive difference in the lives of the children they teach.”
Chris completed her Masters of Education with first class honours in 2011.
This earned her the 2011 Rae Munro Award from the New Zealand Associate for Research in Education for excellence in Masters-level thesis.
Her research involved looking at how engaging classroom environments can be created when children get involved in planning their own learning.
Known as student-centred curriculum integration, it places students at the centre of their learning because the teacher involves them in classroom decisions and curriculum planning.
University of Waikato vice-chancellor professor Roy Crawford says Waikato University has excellent lecturers and it is pleasing to see that verified at such a high level.
“It provides a strong message to future students about the quality of teaching and learning they will receive at Waikato – whether you choose to come to the Hamilton or Tauranga campus.”