What is good teaching?

Panel group shot

“What is good teaching?”

The panel members of the 2014 National Excellence in Teaching Awards offer their comments on good teaching.

View individual comments below:


Prof Diane Grayson – Director: Institutional Audits, CHE

“We know that learning is a process of creating knowledge and making meaning by drawing on a variety of information and experiences, and constructing knowledge for oneself in a particular social context. To facilitate the learning process and improve student success, academics at universities need to embrace their identity as university teachers and embark on the path to develop the knowledge and skills that go with that identity.”

mandzDr Amanda Hlengwa – Lecturer, CHERTL, RU [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][HELTASA Chairperson]

“We look for innovative practice in your own context, moving and growing across your institution, faculty and discipline. Sharing your teaching and learning practices and the theoretical underpinnings of those practices across further than your own student body and settings and across the academic settings.”

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Prof Brenda Leibowitz – Chair: Teaching & Learning, Faculty of Education, UJ [HELTASA Awards Committee – Convenor]

“Being reflective is the cornerstone of good teaching.Being reflective implies being open to criticism and ideas, but also hearing praise when told that one does well. In your portfolio we would like to see what you observed, what you’ve learned from your observations and what you have done differently based on those observations.”



Ms Jean Lee Farmer – Adviser: HE, Centre for Teaching & Learning, SU

“You need to grapple with some theories on learning. Your teaching philosophy tells the narrative of your experiences and includes your students, how and the way they learn most effectively. It is about your personal story (not others) of excellent and effective teaching and learning for your students and how to develop as a professional teacher within your discipline.”


Prof Jeff Jawitz – Curriculum & Course Design Team Convenor, CILT, UCT

“We look for excellence in teaching and learning that goes beyond the individual teacher, for teachers who are open with their practices, and share and explore with their colleagues on how to do things. We look for teachers who really take an interest in building a community, who talk about teaching and build the conversations about what makes excellence in teaching.



Prof Wendy Kilfoil – Director: Department for Education Innovation, UP

“A striking feature of really excellent teachers who are nominated for teaching excellence awards is the ability to motivate students using both cognitive and non-cognitive strategies. These include knowing who their students are, engaging their students in the learning process and helping make relevant the attributes of the profession. There are a variety of ways excellent teachers engage their students and thus motivate them.”


Dr Kwena Masha – Director – Centre for Academic Excellence, UL

“I would like to focus on the complex nature of the student – lecturer interface, which is brought about by the evolving of student natures and identities; as well as the evolving technologies. This means that we need to meet students in their own space, which is so diverse. The whole concept of an individual lecturer engaging with a diversified student group is challenging and this is where we need to bring in teams with different expertise. So, the student – lecturer interface is transformed.”


RoshMs Rosh Sunder – Head of Department, Radiography, DUT [2012 HELTASA winner]

“Innovative practices using technology are inherently student – centered and has the potential to transform teaching practices. We are looking for what challenges you faced in your classroom practice and how innovative teaching practices including technology helped you overcome them.  Transformative teaching must have a purpose and you should be asking and answering the WHY to determine the pedagogical value of this transformation.”[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]