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MIC Lecturer Receives National Award for Excellence in Teaching 2011

National Award for Excellence in Teaching

Mary Immaculate College lecturer, Dr Kathleen Horgan, was one of five recipients of a National Award for Excellence in Teaching 2011 at a reception hosted by the Department of Education and Skill in Dublin, on Monday, 7th November. At the prize-giving ceremony, Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn T.D. said, “today we are celebrating academics who are successful  in uniting

their dual roles as teacher and researcher, in creating a stimulating environment where students are engaged, inspired and most important of all, invigorated”. He went on to say that, “effective teaching is a demanding, creative and scholarly endeavour. It requires a thorough grasp of the breadth and depth of the subject being taught as well as a love for the subject and a passion to pass on one’s knowledge to one’s students. There is a broad range of fields of study covered by the award winners and this demonstrates that good teaching isn’t discipline-specific but is driven by a deep commitment and essentially a love of learning. These are teachers who never cease in their own learning, cultivating the potential of their students, making each and every student feel recognised and valued. For their outstanding performance and inspirational teaching practices, today’s five award winners re-affirm our belief that education will lead us proudly into the future.”

Dr Kathleen Horgan, who leads the Microteaching programme in the Faculty of Education at MIC, was 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.

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. Teresa O’Doherty, Dean of Education at Mary Immaculate College, who spoke at the awards said, “Since its foundation in 1898, Mary Immaculate College has sustained a strong commitment to academic excellence, the fostering of critical thought, educational inclusion and innovation. The continuous strive for excellence in Teaching and Learning, which is at the core of the College is encapsulated in the work of Dr Kathleen Horgan”.

She went on to say that, “Dr Horgan has an abiding focus on the welfare of students. She is a conscientious and reflective teacher who is committed to her own reflective practice and who transmits this commitment to her students in a broad range of creative ways. She uses evidence-based, action-research orientations, not just to inform and guide her own practice, but also to help build the knowledge and insights of her students. Recognised as a gifted teacher by both her students and her peers, Dr Horgan is passionate about her ongoing development as a lecturer.”

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.

Accepting the award, Dr Horgan said, “I am deeply honoured to receive this award and want to pay tribute to the National Academy for its focus on the integration of research, teaching and learning so that we can optimise the educational experience we all give our students”.


Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Tel:+35361 204300  V94VN26

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