Award for Teaching Excellence 2019-20
“Science education and the internationalisation of teaching and learning enable students from different backgrounds to learn in meaningful ways.”
The teaching approaches and strategies of Dr Janet CHAN have been greatly impacted by both her earlier personal and work experiences. When she was a child, she experienced severe floods which destroyed houses and lands. Later, while pursuing her PhD, she witnessed people who, because of their inescapable lifestyles, created output which deeply harmed the natural environment. These, and many other life observations, inspired her to be an environmental professional where she can contribute to our future and the betterment of our world.
Before she joined HKU as a Lecturer in 2010, she worked at the headquarters of an international NGO located in Geneva, Switzerland. She was the focal point for environmental and climate change issues for the organisation, and she collaborated with United Nations agencies to formulate programmes related to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (UN SDGs). She met people from many different walks of life and various communities, cultures, and nationalities, and also encountered a broad range of global environmental issues which all need urgent attention. She recognises that fostering people’s global citizenship through quality education is crucial for promoting sustainable development and improving our environment.
Being a chartered environmental professional and knowing well what employers value, she also realises the importance of professional knowledge, essential soft skills, standards, and ethics. Her teaching methodology, therefore, seeks to enhance student learning by using a holistic approach for science education and ensuring teaching and learning are truly international. She also embeds the attributes of an environmental professional into her teaching and her course design. It is her sincere hope that, through her teaching, students can deliver impact through international reach, innovation, and interdisciplinary collaboration to achieve the University’s mission goals. As a teacher who believes in enriching and enhancing the student learning experience, she regularly reflects on her teaching. She will continue to “stay hungry” and “stay foolish” so that she is eager to learn and ready to try new things in teaching and learning in higher education, and to that end she anticipates further exchange and cooperation opportunities with other teaching experts for mutual advancement.