NATIONAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING 2011
Mary Immaculate College lecturer, Dr Kathleen Horgan, has been selected as the winner of a National Award for Excellence in Teaching 2011. Dr Horgan, who leads the Microteaching programme in the Faculty of Education at MIC, has been chosen by the National Academy for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) as one of only five recipients of this prestigious award, which honours those who are both exemplary teachers and innovative researchers in Higher Education in Ireland.
NAIRTL, a collaborative project between UCC, CIT, NUIG, TCD and WIT, funded by the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), introduced this Awards Programme in 2008 in order
to raise the profile of teaching and learning in Ireland through recognition and celebration of teachers of undergraduate and postgraduate students who make an outstanding impact on the student learning experience.
This year the National Academy received 36 nominations from 17 Universities and Higher Education Institutions, all putting forward candidates for the award. Dr Horgan was nominated by Mary Immaculate College, in recognition of the pivotal role she plays in fostering and inspiring excellence in teaching, learning and scholarship both within and outside of the College. Speaking of her nomination, Prof. Peadar Cremin, President of MIC, said, “I was very happy to endorse Kathleen’s candidacy for this award. She has always been and remains an exemplary teacher.”
This is not the first time that Dr Horgan’s academic prowess has gained recognition. She was awarded a Government of Ireland Senior Research Scholarship in 2004, achieving an Alpha ++ rating for research showing exceptional promise. She also received the Mary Immaculate College Teaching Excellence Award in 2005. Her primary research interest is Reflective Pedagogy, with a particular focus on the evolution of student teachers’ personal theories of teaching through their undergraduate and induction years. She has published and presented in national and international fora on the areas of Development Education, Environmental Education and Curriculum Development. As well as serving on national and international bodies, Dr Horgan has led study visits and initiated collaborative partnerships with educational institutions in Zambia, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Applications, which according to NAIRTL, were of an exceptionally high standard, were reviewed by a selection committee comprised of nominated representatives from all sectors of higher education. Following news of Dr Horgan’s success, Prof. Teresa O’Doherty, Dean of Education at MIC, said, “Evaluations of Kathleen’s teaching have been consistently excellent and reflect her relentless focus on optimising the learning of her students. I am delighted that she has achieved national recognition through this award.”
NAIRTL is expected to announce all five winners shortly and will hold an award ceremony in Dublin on Monday 7th November 2011.