Dal expands its teaching awards program

- November 27, 2014

Brad Wuetherick, executive director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching. (Danny Abriel photo)
Brad Wuetherick, executive director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching. (Danny Abriel photo)

As part of Dal’s efforts to support and celebrate its best professors, instructors and graduate teaching assistants, the university’s teaching awards are undergoing some big changes this year.

The changes, intended to increase teaching recognition inside and outside the Dal community and encourage continued excellence in pedagogy, include: a new single deadline system, an electronic nomination system, monetary prizes for the awards and new criterion that better aligns with similar awards at the regional and national level.  

Perhaps the most notable change is the addition of four brand new awards, one of which is an early career award aimed at new faculty who have been teaching for 10 years or less. The other new categories include the Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision, the Academic Innovation Award and the Award for Excellence in Education for Diversity.

Brad Wuetherick, executive director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching, who has been highly involved in the new teaching awards system, says that currently Dalhousie is “significantly underrepresented at the level of regional and national awards.” He feels one reason for this underrepresentation is that, until now, in-house awards haven’t been aligned with regional and national awards, making nominations for those external awards rare and complicated.

Another reason for the change, says Wuetherick, is a focus on “innovation in programs and excellence in teaching and pedagogy.” Wuetherick says that these areas were previously holes in the awards program, making it difficult to recognize the work of excellent teachers across Dal’s campuses and Faculties. By expanding the categories to recognize other important areas of teaching — graduate supervision, academic innovation, diversity in education, and early-career faculty members — it allows for a broader celebration and recognition of Dal’s professors and instructors.

The monetary awards range from $500 to $3000, with the larger awards targeted for either continued professional development in teaching or support for future teaching projects.

The deadline for the awards is January 31. Learn more about the awards and how to apply at the Centre for Learning and Teaching website.


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