Judges at the 2018 Guardian University Awards were impressed by an innovative scheme that ensures new students get off to a flying start and make the most of their courses, awarding it the winning prize in the Course and Curriculum Design category.
Described as “an intense, aspiration-building, academicallychallenging introduction to undergraduate study”, it consists of a two-week timetable of special sessions designed to stimulate academic interest, develop good study habits and provide opportunities for students to work and engage socially. Students also get the chance to meet successful alumni and begin thinking about their career goals. The project has led to a significant improvement in their sense of belonging, engagement and confidence.
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Sarah’s teaching leaves a powerful impression on students and colleagues. Her teaching goes beyond the traditional classroom and is described as “immersive, sensual and experiential and profoundly challenging intellectually”. She teaches through the arts, using imagery, art techniques, poetry, music, storytelling and performance as part of a socially-engaged pedagogy to develop her students’ professional depth and critical awareness of the world and society. Inside, Sarah creates classroom ‘cabinets of curiosity’ with eclectic displays and artefacts and objectbased learning activity. She also teaches outside the classroom drawing upon the landscape and environment, and demonstrated this is in a masterclass for University staff. Scholarship and research underpin Sarah’s teaching, and she is an invited member of an international team of teacher researchers funded by the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council to develop pedagogic and research practice in museums and galleries.
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