USC lecturer wins national award for teaching

Published 12:00pm 6 March 2022

USC lecturer wins national award for teaching
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

A senior lecturer who aims to transform the way his students think about the natural environment has won a national award for his teaching efforts.

Dr Glyn Thomas, a Senior Lecturer in Outdoor and Environmental Education at USC Moreton Bay, received an Australian Award for University Teaching 2021 last month.

He received a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for “excellence in scholarship that informs the design of innovative outdoor education curriculum and the facilitation of engaging, experiential pedagogies that promote authentic student learning”.

The awards are announced annually by peak body Universities Australia, with 39 member universities across the nation.

Dr Thomas, who has been a researcher and teacher for 22 years, said he was pleased to see his work recognised.

“There has never been a stronger need for educators who can transform the way we live on our planet, as environmental issues increase worldwide,” he said.

“My goal is to develop participants’ understanding of themselves, others and the natural world by facilitating authentic, positive learning experiences in the outdoors.”

“This award validates my focus on this challenge.”

It comes three months after Dr Thomas received an inaugural Fellowship of Outdoor Education Australia (OEA) – the organisation’s highest honour.

A love of teaching 

The former physical education teacher from Petrie became an academic after seeing the impact that outdoor education could have on people.

“I saw teaching at university level as a way of maximising my impact,” he said.

“I’m now preparing outdoor educators who can go on to teach much larger numbers of students.”

Dr Thomas has also published more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and served in volunteer leadership roles with organisations in the sector.

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