NWU academic shortlisted for National Excellence Teaching Awards
“I’m a social worker first and an academic second,” says Dr Ansie Fouche, social work lecturer at the NWU Vaal Triangle Campus’ School of Behavioural Sciences. She took part in the NWU's Institutional Teaching Excellence Awards earlier this year and has recently been shortlisted for the CHE/HELTASA National Excellence Teaching Awards.
Dr Fouche has an unflinching commitment to prepare students for the realities they will face in social work practice. She often asks her students the difficult questions to teach them to be accountable and act with integrity, since their actions will directly impact upon other’s wellbeing in practice.
|Dr Ansie Fouche, social work lecturer in the School of Behavioural Sciences on North-West University's Vaal Triangle Campus.|
As such, she always considers what the objective of the learning material is and the activities and assignments she gives to her students to bring theory to social work practice. She shares these objectives with students to ensure they remain focused and engaged during classes and when they complete their assignments.
Dr Fouche goes even further to ensure that she continually improves upon her teaching methods and that students take responsibility for what they learn by making use of ‘exit cards’. These cards give students the freedom to express their thoughts and ideas at the end of a class and provide their feedback on what they think should be added or taken away from the learning activities during class.
Dr Fouche earlier this year submitted a portfolio of her lessons and lesson content and was later informed that she was placed on the shortlist for the awards. On 10 September Dr Fouche will make an oral presentation to the selection committee via Skype on what she believes make her teaching so successful, after which she will field questions of the committee members.
The successful applicants for the CHE/HELTASA National Excellence Teaching Awards will get feedback in early October, and awards and commendations will be handed over to the successful applicants at the annual HELTASA conference in November at NWU’s Potchefstroom Campus.
*Dr Fouche, with fellow Vaal Triangle Campus colleague, Dr Hayley Walker-Williams (Department of Psychology), have been engaged in a multi-year research project called Survivor to Thriver, aimed at helping adult survivors of sexual abuse rise above their experiences as children to become thriving adults.