Two Trinity academics are among the inaugural recipients of the 2014 ‘Teaching Hero’ awards in Irish Higher Education. Dr Nicola Marples, Department of Zoology, School of Natural Sciences and Professor Stephen Connon, School of Chemistry have been recognised as Teaching Heroes by their students in the first National Teaching Hero Awards.
The awards were established by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in partnership with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and other student bodies to recognise and celebrate students’ experiences of great teaching throughout all higher education institutions.
Dr Marples and Professor Connon received their awards from Trinity students Emmet Sheerin and Gina McLoughlin in the presence of Minister for Education & Skills Ms Jan O’Sullivan TD, the Patron of the National Forum Professor Mary McAleese and USI President Laura Harmon at a special ceremony recently in Dublin Castle. The key note address was delivered by Mary McAleese who underlined the importance of inspirational and empowering teachers to higher education and to society. Fifty-three Teaching Heroes from 27 higher education institutions throughout Ireland were honoured at awards ceremony.
The Teaching Hero award is the first of its kind in higher education in Ireland. The student body of many higher education institutions have worked with the National Forum to identify teachers across the sector who have had a positive and lasting impact on students’ learning experiences. This is a new way of ensuring that students have the opportunity to have their voices heard by identifying their teaching heroes, and to thank and recognise those excellent teachers at a national level.
The system is not designed to replace or disregard the existing teaching award systems that are in place institutionally and regionally, but they will help the National Forum to explore in diverse detail the ways in which students understand and experience excellent teaching within their contexts and across different disciplines.