Teaching excellence awards for CSU lecturers

1 JANUARY 2003

Education lecturers at Charles Sturt University have won a prestigious national award for university teaching excellence.

CSU's Associate Professor David McKinnon and Dr Lena Danaia from the School of Teacher Education.Education lecturers at Charles Sturt University (CSU) have won a prestigious national award for university teaching excellence.
 
Associate Professor David McKinnon and Dr Lena Danaia from the University’s School of Teacher  Education are among the 23 recipients in eight categories for the 2008 Australian Awards for University Teaching recently awarded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC).
 
CSU Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Ian Goulter, congratulated Professor McKinnon and Dr Danaia, saying the award reflected their dedication and expertise, and that of their School, Faculty and the whole University.
 
“We are immensely proud of the contribution that our staff makes to education for the professions for our regions and the nation. This award reflects the mission of Charles Sturt University to provide education and research to national and international standards, for the people of inland Australia, in their own ‘backyard’,” Professor Goulter said.
 
Professor McKinnon and Dr Danaia won their award in the Social Sciences and Education section ‘for building innovative primary science classroom practice through pre-service teacher immersion in a problem-based, collaborative learning experience’.
 
Dean of the Faculty of Education at CSU, Professor Toni Downes, said she was delighted that her staff were recognised for their outstanding contribution to the education of future school teachers.
 
“Their approach to teaching was to influence, motivate and inspire students to learn,” she said. “The nomination demonstrated how, after a lengthy and substantial scholarly process, they made sweeping changes to the way in which science and technology subjects are taught in the CSU Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree and the evidence showed that their students were newly engaged and motivated by the transformed subject.”
 
Professor McKinnon said that previously, the students seemed disinterested in science and were afraid of teaching it.
 
“We adopted a team-teaching approach and built innovative primary science classroom practice through immersing our students, as pre-service teachers, in a problem-based, collaborative learning experience,” he said.
 
“This approach enabled us to demonstrate collaborative approaches to problem-solving and analytical and critical thinking skills that our students could then apply in their cooperative learning groups and, later, in the classrooms and schools in which they will teach.”
 
Another CSU lecturer, Associate Professor Lindy McAllister, was a member of a multi-institution team that won the Award for Programs that Enhance Learning in the discipline of speech pathology.

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