Excellent teaching highlighted at first symposium

22 September 2008

Innovative teaching came under the spotlight at the inaugural Teaching and Learning Symposium, hosted by the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) and the Institutional Planning Department in early September.

The aim behind the symposium is to direct the spotlight on examples of outstanding teaching - such as the three winners of the CHED Award for Collaborative Educational Practice, and two cases of innovative teaching practice from the 2006 Teaching and Learning Report. The selection of the cases for presentation involved a process of peer-review.

"The aim is to promote teaching and learning at UCT," says CHED's Jeff Jawitz, "and to give serious consideration to teaching practices."

The five presentations at the symposium focused on the teaching practices they had developed to address challenges in their classrooms.

So, for example, Professor David Jacobs and Dr Justin O'Riain of the Department of Zoology pioneered a field camp in their third-year course in behavioural ecology to hone students' skills as zoologists-cum-academics.

In turn, Associate Professor Gay Morris and Liz van Breda of the Department of Drama introduced their students to the use of drama for educational or development purposes in, for example, schools or the workplace.

The other presentations were by Associate Professors Andy Buffler and Saalih Allie of the Department of Physics, Prof Graham Barr of the Department of Statistical Sciences and Salim Nakhjavani of the Department of Public Law.

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