To encourage excellence in mathematics teaching in higher education, the Australian Mathematical Society (AustMS) has established the annual Award for Teaching Excellence and the annual Award for Teaching Excellence (Early Career).
These awards are important for the Society as the quality of mathematics teaching has impact beyond the training of the future mathematics workforce. Several Australian mathematics departments rely on service teaching to other disciplines to remain viable, and ensuring high-quality mathematics teaching is of key importance.
The AustMS Award for Teaching Excellence and Award for Teaching Excellence (Early Career) aim to recognise and reward outstanding contribution to teaching and student learning in the mathematical sciences at the tertiary level. Each year a Teaching Excellence Award and a Teaching Excellence Award (Early Career) will be presented at the Annual Meeting, with the prize money for each award set at $1000 per annum. Awardees will be invited to give a presentation on their work at the Annual Meeting and write a short classroom note for the Gazette. A call for nominations will be made each year, and nominations will close on 31 August of the year in which the prize is to be awarded.
The Australian Mathematical Society is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. All eligible nominees for awards, prizes and grants will receive consideration without regard to ethnic background, race, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, age or citizenship status.
Winners of the Teaching Excellence Award
Winners of the Teaching Excellence (Early Career) Award
- There were no winners in 2022
- 2021 Sarah Dart (citation)
- 2019 Belinda Spratt
- 2018 Daniel Mansfield and Glen Wheeler
- The Teaching Excellence Award and the Teaching Excellence (Early Career) Award will be awarded annually to members of the Australian Mathematical Society for outstanding and innovative contributions to mathematical education.
- Eligibility for the two categories is determined as follows. The nominee
- is currently a member of the Society and was a member for the consecutive twelve-month period immediately prior to the closing date for nominations
- normally resides in Australia
- has carried out the teaching in the mathematical sciences for which they are being nominated at one or more Australian tertiary institution(s) where they held a continuing, fixed term or sessional appointment(s) with a teaching component, on a full-time, fractional or casual basis
- to be considered for the early-career award, has a total tertiary teaching experience not exceeding ten years at the closing date for nominations. This includes tutoring and part-time teaching. The total teaching experience can be non-consecutive and must be counted on a teaching period basis (e.g., semesters or trimesters), with a year consisting of an equivalent number of these periods (for example, two semesters or three trimesters)
- can demonstrate sustained contribution for a period of no less than three years (two years for the early-career award)
- is ineligible for the AustMS Award for Teaching Excellence (Early Career) if they have previously won this award or the AustMS Award for Teaching Excellence
- is ineligible for the AustMS Award for Teaching Excellence if they have previously won this award
- is ineligible if they are currently a member of the AustMS Standing Committee on Mathematics Education.
- Nominees must select ONE of the four focus areas listed below, and include clear and consistent forms of evidence addressing this focus area. Nominees should demonstrate that their contribution has gained recognition from fellow staff, their institution and the broader community (the latter is not necessary for Early Career Award). The focus areas are:
- approaches to teaching and the support of learning of mathematics that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn
- development of curricula, resources or services that reflect a command of the field including current mathematics education research
- evaluation practices that bring about improvements in teaching and learning of mathematics
- innovation, leadership or scholarship that has influenced and enhanced learning and teaching of mathematics and/or the student experience.
Advice to Applicants
The application should consist of
- a standard application cover sheet
- a proposed citation (maximum 100 words) to describe the work of the nominee
- a statement addressing the selection criteria of no more than two A4 pages, arguing the case for awarding the prize to the nominee and providing evidence of the contribution in the chosen focus area
- a curriculum vitae of no more than four A4 pages, summarising the candidate’s professional career and highlighting any achievements in learning and teaching of mathematics which add support to the nomination
- two references of no more than one A4 page each, provided by people able to comment on the applicant’s contribution to student learning in mathematics in the chosen focus area, against the selection criteria. One referee should be in a relevant formal role in the nominee’s faculty, department, school or administrative body, who can comment on the nominee’s teaching, such as the Head, Director of Teaching, Director of First-Year Studies or Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching. The references must be signed, with electronic signatures acceptable.
Some additional pointers:
- The citation is a 1-3 sentence summary of your overarching claim for an outstanding contribution, beginning with ‘for … ’. Citations from previous award winners (see earlier on this page) may also be a useful guide.
- There is a range of evidence that can be used to prepare a good application. Applicants might like to consider this evidence grid (used with permission from the Strategies for Success document from the University of South Australia). Applicants are not required to include evidence from every quadrant.
Applicants self-nominate for these Awards. All documents must be on A4 pages with margins of at least 2cm, using 11-point font. The application (items a-d) should be submitted as one PDF; letters of reference may be submitted separately. Excess pages will not be provided to the Selection Committee.
The Selection Committee will consist of:
- the Chair of the Standing Committee on Mathematics Education (who will chair the Selection Committee)
- two members of the Standing Committee on Mathematics Education, and
- two external assessors chosen by the Standing Committee, with preference given to a past AustMS Teaching Excellence Award winner, from 2019 onwards.
The Selection Committee will make recommendations to the President of the Society for approval.
Send enquiries to the Chair of the Selection Committee, Chris Tisdell.
Applications are to be emailed to TeachingAwards@austms.org.au. Receipt of applications will be acknowledged via return email.