Dr Donella Cobb
Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching
Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Te Hononga School of Curriculum and Pedagogy, University of Waikato
“My teaching centres on my belief that education has the potential to enhance learning for all students, particularly those who have been traditionally underserved by our education system”.
“I was four years old when I decided I wanted to be a teacher” but it wasn’t until 2011 when Donella discovered her passion and love for the tertiary sector. Starting off her career in primary education, Donella spent over ten years teaching children in New Zealand, England and Australia, before continuing to enhance her cultural awareness by teaching and developing practices in Rwanda. “It was this experience that opened my eyes to the power of tertiary education as a platform for transformative change.”
As a teacher educator, Donella is extremely passionate about sharing her knowledge and encouraging others to be great teachers. “You really reinforced the kind of teacher I aspire to be. You are a prime example of the way I hope my students feel about me”. Her portfolio highlights her philosophy of pedagogy; having a student-centred approach, embracing cultural diversity and building robust relationships with students. A senior lecturer colleague concurs, “Her sincerity, patience, competence, demeanour, warmth, work ethic and never-ending-smile ensure that all students feel welcome and supported.