An American history academic who begins every lecture with music has won a prestigious national award for teaching excellence.
Dr Michael Ondaatje, from the Faculty of Education and Arts, will receive a Teaching Excellence Award from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) at a national ceremony in Sydney next month.
Dr Ondaatje’s inspiring teaching methods have engaged his students and resulted in an influx of enrolments in the University’s American history courses.
“Enthusiasm is a vital ingredient for inspiring students to learn,” Dr Ondaatje said.
“I tell my students why I am so passionate about teaching American history and I use my lectures to bring the past alive for them through music, visual footage and multimedia.
“I encourage students to express themselves and take chances with their thinking.
“Quite often sparks will fly during debate but my students tell me that my passion and approach to teaching enable their learning.”
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Global Relations), Professor Kevin McConkey, said the Teaching Excellence Awards were among the most competitive higher education awards in Australia.
“They are presented to individuals who have outstanding presentation skills and who have made a significant contribution to enhancing the quality of teaching and learning in higher education.”
Dr Ondaatje’s commitment to motivating and inspiring students has resulted in consistently high student evaluations and recognition from his colleagues.
He has several prizes for teaching excellence and in 2010 received an ALTC Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.
Media contact: Dr Michael Ondaatje on 0415 065 724.