In late November (2012) I was lucky enough to receive the Prime Minister’s University Teacher of the Year Award – see the nice awards in the photo!
In giving me the award, the Office of Learning and Teaching described my philosophy of teaching as having three broad pillars: working with students as agents for change (rather than seeing them as ‘citizens in waiting’); bringing theory to life; and, promoting a sense of agency and active citizenship.
I have attempted to achieve these goals by implementing a number of innovative strategies including a textbook commissioned by Oxford University Press, summarising key theoretical concepts in YouTube videos, and even this blog-site.
In my work, I have tried to connect the teaching, research and community nexus: making my work accessible to the broader public and students, as well as other researchers. While this has often been praised, I have also had many critics: some come from those who do not think I should be entering into public debates (such as right-wing commentators) who tell me to go back to my ‘ivory tower’. Other criticisms come from academics who have accused me of not being ‘academic enough’.
The education editors of the The Conversation asked me to write a piece in response to some of these criticism. Based on my earlier work which argued that academics need to be flexible in their approaches and embrace a type of ‘pirate pedagogy‘ and be innovative, I wrote the following piece titled Kill Your Powerpoints and Teach like a Pirate.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive. I would be interested in your thoughts and am always looking for collaborators to work with and innovate… so drop me an email.