UCT lecturers the pick of the teaching crop

28 September 2012 | Story by Newsroom

Research accolades are common for UCT scholars, but now they're also picking up teaching awards.

Assoc Prof Bette Davidowitz Prof Gary Marsden Dr Susan Levine
Three of a kind: (From left) Assoc Prof Bette Davidowitz, Prof Gary Marsden and Dr Susan Levine have been fêted for their commitment to teaching.

A number of UCT winners featured among those honoured in the 2012 National Excellence in Teaching and Learning Awards, awarded by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the Higher Education Learning & Teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA), a professional association primarily for educators in the tertiary sector.

Professor Gary Marsden of the Computer Science Department was named as one of only five academics in South Africa to receive an excellence award. He was commended for his innovative teaching and learning philosophy, which is aligned with his teaching and assessment methods. In particular he was praised for his "rigorous, robust and diverse" teaching and for his outcomes-based approach, which encourages students "to think like computer scientists" from first-year level.

Associate Professor Bette Davidowitz of the Department of Chemistry and the Academic Development Programme in the Centre for Higher Education Development, and Dr Susan Levine of the Department of Social Anthropology, are two of the nine academics to receive commendation awards.

HELTASA congratulated both of them on their coherent and inspiring philosophies, which demonstrated up-to-date knowledge of teaching and learning. Their passion for their respective disciplines and their ability to make their subject matter relevant to students were also highlighted.

All of these awardees are past recipients of UCT's Distinguished Teacher's Award, which pays tribute to teaching excellence and acknowledges the primary place of teaching and learning in the university's work.

"It is gratifying to note that our colleagues' contribution to teaching and learning has now been recognised nationally," said deputy vice-chancellor Professor Sandra Klopper in an announcement.

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