Outstanding Teaching Award 2019
Dr Caroline DINGLE, School of Biological Sciences, receives the University Outstanding Teaching Award 2019 for her dedication to teaching and the impact that she has made on her students’ learning.
"My goal as a scientist and teacher is first and foremost to inspire in students a love of nature, an understanding of the importance of ecological and evolutionary processes to the health of the planet, and the desire to seek solutions to the pressing environmental issues of today and tomorrow. I strongly believe that students are motivated to learn largely by their own excitement about a topic, and my aim in every interaction with my students, both inside and outside the classroom, is to arouse their curiosity about the natural world. My teaching approach emphasises student-led learning and includes a variety of methods designed to encourage student participation. My classroom teaching is largely research-led, fostering an understanding of science as an active, dynamic process. One of the best ways I have found of doing this is by creating opportunities for students to participate in the scientific process, both in the classroom and in the field. Field-based learning activities create an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-life experiences, and whenever possible I include field trips in my courses.
One of the most important aspects of my teaching is the development of the relationship between student and teacher. In my courses, I make sure to establish an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding where each student feels like they have the opportunity to have their voice heard. I encourage students to interact with me and with each other, both in and out of the classroom. I also strongly believe that better scientific knowledge is produced when it is based on a wide diversity of backgrounds, viewpoints and experience. Since my time as an undergraduate student, I have actively sought opportunities to promote and encourage diversity. I have had the opportunity to work with colleagues across HKU’s campus and have contributed to important discussions which have led to the formation of new policies for gender equality. Gender of course is just one aspect of diversity, and I will continue to work tirelessly throughout my career to make science more inclusive, both for the benefit of the individual and for the field as a whole."