Exemplary teachers claim teaching awards

Shirley Pang

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Three teachers of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) have received the Teaching Excellence Awards (TEA) 2008-09 in recognition of their outstanding teaching performance. They were selected from 25 candidates nominated by students, alumni or programme committees.


The TEA winners this year were Ms Penny Akers, English Language Centre English Enhancement Course Tutor, Dr Annis Fung Lai-chu, Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Social Studies, and Dr Mei-yung Leung , Assistant Professor, Department of Building and Construction.


All three excelled by employing innovative teaching methods to motivate students and promote effective learning. Their enthusiasm was a key factor that provided encouragement to students. Another essential teaching element is their persistence for continuous improvement. They also commit to the important Outcomes-based Teaching and Learning (OBTL) concept introduced by the University.


Ms Akers, who teaches English subjects, is a firm believer of student-centred education. To arouse student interest, she often arranges different activities such as role play, group competitions and the use of audio and visual aids. Dr Fung, who teaches counselling courses, said the prerequisite of a competent counsellor is to have the appropriate mindset. She encourages students to solve their own problems before helping others. Dr Leung, with 10 years of teaching experience, stresses class discipline and places strict demands on students. She said it was more beneficial to cultivate a good interpersonal attitude in students rather than simply impart subject knowledge onto them.


TEA was launched by CityU’s Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) in 1993, the first of its kind among Hong Kong tertiary institutions. Aimed at recognising outstanding teachers and emphasising the importance of professional education, the award is testimony to the University’s commitment to the enhancement of education quality for the territory and region.


The three recipients went through the rigorous selection panel process. Panel members were appointed by the QAC and included not only the University’s teaching staff and student representatives, but also an external member, Professor Lynne Hunt from the University of Southern Queensland. Selection criteria comprised a commitment to implementing OBTL, motivation and support of students, contributions to the University’s teaching culture and performance, up-to-date subject knowledge and professional skills, enhancement of teaching quality and an interest in developing innovative teaching methods.


“We are proud to uphold the importance of professional education through the recognition of outstanding teachers who so clearly demonstrate the University's commitment to enhancing the quality of education,” said Professor Christian Wagner, Chairman of the TEA Selection Panel. “The winners are wonderful role models for both students and teachers. They have excelled in developing innovative and effective teaching methods and are contributing to the university’s education mission in numerous ways. ”


On top of a prize of HK$15,000, each winner will also receive an OBTL grant worth HK$150,000 as an incentive to further develop education projects.


The 2008-09 TEA awards presentation ceremony will be held during the Congregation in November this year. The names of the three outstanding teachers have been engraved on a TEA Plaque at the entrance to the Academic Building.


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