Congratulations to Assistant Professors Patrick Williams and Jung Yongbo for winning the inaugural Nanyang Education Award (College ) 2013!
For Assistant Professor Patrick Williams, teaching is a process. It is never mastered, never complete. Good teachers constantly interact with and within learning environments, seeking the best possible means through which students may succeed in learning. His approach to teaching has been shaped by his cumulative experiences as a student, the professional development programs in which he has been involved, and by his experiences as a teacher in and out of the classroom and the feedback he continually gets from students and peers. These sources of experience have led to a belief that there are at least three aspects to good teaching: an interactive and collaborative learning environment; the constant strive toward reflexive and critical thinking; and mutual engagement on the part of teachers and students.
Prof Williams teaches courses in culture, social psychology, media, and research methods in the Division of Sociology in HSS. His research interests focus on youth cultures and experiences as well as on computer-mediated interaction and digital games. Prof Williams believes that teaching and research go hand‐in‐hand, each practice informing the other. Doing research, he constantly reflects on what he is teaching in related courses and how new research—his own and that of other scholars—may be effectively communicated in the classroom to ensure that students are able to learn from the latest ideas in the discipline or content area. Likewise teaching, his interactions with students constantly bring up new ideas that provide insights and opportunities for study. This is one of the great benefits Prof Williams sees of teaching and studying topics related to everyday life.
Assistant Professor Jung Yongbo is a thoughtful and passionate teacher. He devotes a tremendous amount of time working with and for his students. He prepares meticulously and designs his lessons to be dialogic and engaging. He has been a pioneer in the use of technology in the classroom. He knows that good educational experiences are engaging and relevant, and that positive affect occurs when students have a sense of accomplishment. Thus, he designs his courses and their elements to help the students become active learners – agents in the advancement of their own education. He encourages them to develop critical thinking skills and provides positive reinforcement and critical feedback in a compassionate way.
The Nanyang Education Award is an annual award bestowed on faculty members across the various Schools in recognition and celebration of their outstanding achievements in and contributions to Teaching. It reflects the University’s commitment to promoting excellence in teaching and learning. There are three levels of competition, at the School, College, and University levels. The rigorous selection process takes into account both student and peer reviews of teaching. The winners of the Nanyang Education Award (College) will be considered for the University-level Award.
Besides a medal, a certificate and a cash award, College and University Award Winners will also receive a special grant to develop new courses or educational technologies, attend courses or conferences on teaching and learning, or pursue other teaching related activities. As a further testament to NTU’s emphasis on quality education, College and University Award recipients will be installed as Fellows of the Teaching Excellence Academy. The mandate of the Academy is to promote teaching among faculty, provide views and feedback to university management on teaching related matters, and conduct master-class teaching workshops to raise the standard of teaching in NTU.