Celebrating the faculty’s teaching success

13 June 2014
Teaching Excellence
Faculty of Education award recipients with Dean of Education Professor Graeme Aitken.

Seven Faculty of Education teaching staff have been awarded at an event yesterday for their excellence in teaching and supervision.

The annual Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Awards acknowledge tertiary educators within the faculty for their exceptional work in the fields of education, professional practice, social work, human services and counselling. This year 36 lecturers were nominated and 10 submitted a portfolio for an award.

Teaching Quality Coordinator Dr Catherine Rawlinson said the event was a celebration of outstanding work from teachers across the Manukau, Epsom, Tāmaki and Tai Tokerau campuses.

She said each recipient demonstrated a high level of passion, enthusiasm and tenacity, reaching above and beyond their natural talents.

Dean of Education Professor Graeme Aitken said the lecturers were exemplars of the Faculty of Education’s mission statement Leading Learning, Changing Lives.

“You are leading learning and changing lives – changing the lives of students and other people who are like snowballs, leaving here and going on to change many more lives,” Graeme said.

Associate Professor Lawrence Zhang, from the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy was awarded for his excellence in postgraduate research supervision.

During the past two years Lawrence has taken a proactive approach in encouraging more than a dozen students, in particular international students, to enter into PhD study while ensuring their success through a cohort-based approach to supervision.

Curriculum and Pedagogy Head of School Judy Parr said: “Lawrence has endeavoured to provide the supervision on the basis of research student needs. The various documents he has developed to guide his students have helped their development in areas such as critical review of the literature, research design and methodology, and intellectual independence”.

Lawrence said his passion, enthusiasm and tenacity for achieving excellence in teaching and supervision comes from his Masters and PhD students, “whose own perseverance in pursuing excellence is the real inspiration”.

Lawrence was excited to receive the award and thanked his colleagues for their contribution to his success.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement from the leadership team at the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy (CURRPD), particularly Professor Judy Parr, whose constant advice, professional communication, and rich institutional knowledge that has helped me so much in providing the timely supervision that my postgraduate students need,” Lawrence said.

“And to my TESOL fellow colleagues who have worked with me as co-supervisors, without them I would not have won the award.”

Deputy Dean Teacher Education Dr Lexie Grudnoff, from the School of Learning, Development and Professional Practice, was nominated for the many years she has dedicated to leading teacher education within the faculty. 

Lexie received an award for sustained professional practice.Head of School Associate Professor Christine Rubie-Davies said, “it is because of Lexie’s leadership that the faculty enjoys an enviable reputation as a leader in teacher education.

“Lexie’s exceptional leadership is reflected not only in her programme management but also in her research. That her research is based within providing the best possible experience and development for pre-service teachers, is testament to her strong commitment to students and to teacher education.” 

Lexie said the award recognised how critical professional practice and the associated links with schools and centres is to the work of the faculty.

“This award is not just about me, as I can only do my work because of the commitment my faculty and school colleagues have to  quality teacher education. My thanks go to them,” Lexie said.


Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Award Recipients 2014 


Sustained Excellence in Teaching

Dr Eleanor Hawe

Judine Ladbrook

Associate Professor Mary Hill


Professional Practice

Dr Lexie Grudnoff


Excellence in Postgraduate Research Supervision.

Associate Professor Gavin Brown

Associate Professor Lawrence Zhang


Innovation in Teaching
Paul Heyward