Published: 09 October 2020

Celebrating World Teachers’ Day 2020


This week, more than 100 countries around the world celebrated World Teachers' Day on 5 October 2020.

The day was established in 1994 to commemorate the 1966 signing of ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which looked to address the standards surrounding education personnel policy, recruitment, training, personal development and working conditions.

To celebrate the fantastic academics in FASS, we have highlighted those who have won prestigious teaching awards over the years.

Professor Andy Adcroft, Deputy Dean of Surrey Business School won a National Teaching Fellowship in 2015.  Regarding his award and the importance of celebrating teachers around the world, he said: “The best thing about winning the award was that it gives us a platform to share our practice and learn from other people’s practice – I think the best way of becoming a better teacher is to see what others do and take inspiration from it.

“During lockdown, so many people had their first experience of teaching as they had to home school their own children and it was a huge challenge – I think most people now appreciate what teachers do, in a way they never did before – and teachers do it with 30 students in a room, rather than just one or two children round the kitchen table!”

Also in receipt of a National Teaching Fellowship in 2015 was the Department of Politics' Professor Simon Usherwood, who commented: “Being awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2015 was a key moment in my development as a teacher - it really underlined the value to others of the work I have done in recent years on active learning and supporting the community of practice that exists. At a time when higher education’s focus on effective and creative learning has never been more in need, celebrating that work becomes critical.”

The Department of Music and Media's Dr Chris Wiley has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship and the title of Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA). Commenting on his awards, he said:  “In the course of my academic career, I’ve become increasingly aware of my indebtedness to key teachers, often years or even decades down the line. It’s fantastic to think that I’m in a position where I might have the same influence on my own students – many of whom have themselves gone into the teaching profession at all levels. I was delighted to have been awarded the National Teaching Fellowship in 2013, which led to my appointment as Director of Learning and Teaching at Surrey, in which I was able to influence the student experience on many different programmes. That, in turn, enabled me to demonstrate the strategic leadership in teaching that led to my more recently being awarded the PFHEA.”

This year, Emma Mayhew, Professor of Pedagogy in Politics and International Relations also won a National Teaching Fellowship. Commenting on the international day and the direct benefit of teaching awards for Surrey students, she said: “World Teachers’ Day is an opportunity to reflect on the tremendous contribution of teachers, in all settings, across the world. This year, it is especially important to recognise the efforts of all educators to innovate, to find new spaces and new ways of working, to make sure that learning doesn’t stop.

“Our students benefit from tremendously talented and dedicated colleagues across all faculties and this includes those who have been recognised externally as National Teaching Fellows (NTFs). This kind of recognition is important. NTF is one of the most significant learning and teaching awards in higher education. To have five NTF colleagues in FASS reflects how innovative and leading our practices are to our prospective and current students.”

To be taught by award-winning academics, discover our courses within the nine different Schools and Departments in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Interested in applying for National Teaching Fellowship, or the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence? Join a session aimed at individuals and teams who would be interested in finding out more about these awards.

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