Following on from my last post “Don’t Forget About Your Subject Centre” I decided that another quick post highlighting some of the supportive practice of the UK Centre for Bioscience was in order.
Last year I was delighted to be short-listed for the Ed Wood teaching Award organised by the Centre. I found the entire process very supportive, unobtrusive and prompting further refection of my own teaching practice. Each of the finalists was asked to record their reflections of the process and these may be read in full in the Centre’s latest bulletin. I have quoted my reflections below.
Put simply, the Ed Wood Teaching Award process is straightforward, supportive and highly beneficial. When I applied for the award it was with a certain degree of trepidation as to what might be entailed, however I discovered that the most challenging part was completing the application form in a manner that succinctly conveyed the teaching practice I was offering up for consideration.
Once that was done and I had been shortlisted the rest of the process allowed for reflection on my own practice during the observed teaching sessions and the ensuing interviews and evaluation, culminating in the production of the case study. This part of the process I found very helpful and unobtrusive given that the teaching observations and interviews were carried out during one of the busiest times of the academic year. The case study was written by Sheryl and passed back to me for comment; the whole process being very supportive with minimal stress for the academic.
While I have benefited from a working environment where innovation in teaching and learning is encouraged, supported and rewarded, the Ed Wood Award process allowed me to gauge how my teaching practice was perceived on a national level by peers and closer to home by my own students. Applying for such awards is as one of my own colleagues described “like putting your head above the parapet”. However, in terms of reflecting on your teaching practice and having it supportively evaluated and showcased on a national level I highly recommend being involved in the Bioscience Teacher of the Year Awards!