Maxine Alterio

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

Principal Lecturer, Educational Development Centre, Otago Polytechnic

"Purposeful engagement lies at the heart of meaningful learning".

Inspirational, empowering, inventive and awesome, are the terms her students use to describe Maxine. A highly sought after mentor to her colleagues in New Zealand and overseas, Maxine breathes vitality into the process of learning for students from first year to postgraduate. Supporting learners to reflect on their understandings through storytelling is a key aspect of her practice as a tertiary educator.

Maxine draws students and staff into the process of learning and development through her infectious enthusiasm and passion, particularly for the writing process. In her own words, Maxine aims to ‘nudge fledgling writers from the nest’. Using the comparative analogy of Gannets and Albatross, Maxine cleverly describes developing learners from being spoon-fed on easily digestible chunks of learning as Gannets through to an Albatross setting off on journeys of discovery over great oceans of the unknown. Maxine is a shining example of the role that teaching plays in supporting learners to becoming discoverers of new knowledge through innovative practice and critical thinking.