Stephen Hickson

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

Senior Teaching Fellow, Department of Economics and Finance, University of Canterbury

"Keeping joy and fun central to the learning journey".

Reluctant students, expecting economics to be boring, hard and irrelevant, may be surprised to see their lecturer enter wearing a Santa suit. He pairs it with discussion of seasonal adjustment, and it is just part of the package that this exceptional lecturer brings to his work. Stephen believes that 'the role of a university is to make people better thinkers'. His teaching strategies include relating content to students’ lives, presenting material in multiple ways to help students learn, and structuring assessment so that students are guided into the behaviours that advance learning.

Stephen writes academically rigorous articles on 'the frontiers of pedagogy'. He has been praised for his natural teaching skills, innovation, and willingness to do whatever it takes to better serve students. Students love his enthusiasm, humour and application of course content to real world current events. Constantly experimenting and improving his teaching, he is a superbly effective, energetic teacher who has inspired thousands of students and is joyful to see the 'lights go on in a student’s eyes'.