UWS academic to challenge Australia's best university teachers for top prize

Date: 27/11/2002

An innovative approach to teaching has earned a University of Western Sydney academic recognition as one of Australia's top university teachers.

Dr Glenn Pearce from the School of Marketing and International Business is one of three national finalists in the category of Economics, Business and related studies in this year's Australian Awards for University Teaching.

The winners will be announced in Canberra on Tuesday, December 3.

Dr Pearce believes his development of a world-first drama-based approach to marketing brought him to the attention of the judges.

"I've found that using drama techniques to explore contemporary issues in marketing has worked very effectively in the third year workshops where it's been run," Dr Pearce says.

"Using drama is a much more engaging, memorable, practical way to learn than simply dictating notes in a classroom.

"The technique also promotes more social interaction between students and, most importantly, it's fun," he says.

"I also incorporate other aspects such as reflective diaries, experimental learning and debating into the assessment process," Dr Pearce explains.

" I've run the New Frontiers in Marketing unit as a Third Year elective three times this year, and the feedback from students has been really positive.

"It's always a very popular elective, and students say using drama techniques in that way improves their confidence, stimulates their creativity and engages their emotions," Dr Pearce says.

Entrants for the Australian Awards for University Teaching are judged on 10 selection criteria which include interest and enthusiasm for teaching, the ability to arouse curiosity of students and stimulate independent learning, and the ability to organise course material and present it imaginatively.

Submissions must also include a portfolio of teaching material such as course outlines, and the Award organisers also survey the entrant's students to see how they view their mentor's teaching abilities.

"Almost 100 applications were received this year for the five categories and the three institutional awards, from which just three finalists are chosen for each group. It's very competitive, especially within the Economics and Business field."

It's not the first time Dr Pearce has been a national finalist in the awards, having been previously selected in 1998.

"I'm very pleased to have been chosen to represent the University of Western Sydney as a finalist. It's also a great advance for drama-based teaching, and I hope I can follow through by winning the category this year," he says.

Media Enquiries:
Angela McIntyre
Senior Media Officer
02-9852 5822
0419 244 595
Email: a.mcintyre@uws.edu.au