Award recipients

The Excellence Awards are a tangible way of recognising and promoting excellence in teaching. Find out who the latest award recipients are.

Associate professor wins national diversity and inclusion teaching award

Associate Professor Kate Schick has received national recognition for excellence in teaching for her work at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.

Associate Professor Schick of the University’s Te Kura Aro Whakamuri, Rapunga Whakaaro, Matai Tōrangapū me to Ao—School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations has won a 2023 Te Whatu Kairangi—Aotearoa Tertiary Educator General Award for Achieving diversity and inclusion for improving outcomes for Māori learners, Pacific learners, neurodiverse learners, and/or learners with disabilities.

Te Whatu Kairangi celebrates outstanding tertiary educators who are making a difference to learners, their whānau, and communities. Previously known as the Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards, they are the most recognised awards for the entire tertiary education and training sector in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The award judges said that inclusion and community are clearly at the heart of Kate’s practice.

Associate Professor Schick says she has long been on a quest to shape the University into a place where everyone can be successful. Her desire to preserve communal small-group deep learning in large classes has led to her embracing relational pedagogy and creating “micro-communities” within her classes.

She cultivates these small student groups through ako (teaching and learning reciprocity) and whanaungatanga (relationships). The groups are connected as a community in a way that provides deeper learning for all, and supportive learning environments for Maōri, Pacific, neurodiverse, and remote learners.

Students say they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and experiences in these communities where they’ve come to know and trust one another. Some ākonga highlight that they come to better understand themselves and their own cultural heritage because of their learning on the course, deepening the sense of pride they have in their ancestors.

Associate Professor Schick’s approach has also been more widely recognised by her colleagues. Her excellent teaching practice has been published and recognised both nationally and internationally. In 2022, she was jointly awarded the British International Studies Association Award for Distinguished Excellence in Teaching International Studies.