Dr Kirstine Moffat
Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching
Associate Professor, Division of Arts, Law, Psychology and Social Sciences, University of Waikato
“The foundations of what I consider to be excellence in teaching lie in this childhood memory: discovery, the joy of connection, and magic.”
As a teacher of literature, Kirstine uses storytelling to connect with her students and to prompt them to think and feel. She purposefully engages the different learning styles of her students so that they can be ‘active agents in their own learning’, which is what they experience. “These [different styles] make me excited and invested”, explains one of her students.
Kirstine is a creative teacher and a risk taker, encouraging both attributes in her students. Her creativity extends to assessing student learning, which they see as “empowering” and “more enjoyable”. She instils in them the “desire to discover things for themselves”. She is passionate, committed and inclusive – creating an “environment in which we feel safe giving different opinions”. She actively engages with students about their feedback, even redesigning courses as they are happening.
Kirstine is generous in “giving back”, mentoring new teachers and running staff development sessions in creative teaching and assessment. Colleagues speak highly of her contribution to their development and one describes her as “an inspirational teacher who gets involved and works on bringing the creativity and desire to learn out of all her students”.