Prof Marietjie Potgieter wins a National Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award for 2011

Posted on November 15, 2011

The National Excellence in Teaching and Learning Awards Selection Committee have selected Prof Marietjie Potgieter of the Chemistry Department of the University of Pretoria as a recipient of a commendation award for 2011. A total of 27 applications were received, from which five Excellence awards and nine Commendation awards were made. The quality of the candidates was extremely high, thus her selection is a significant achievement and is based on evidence of Prof Potgieter's teaching excellence.
She will receive a certificate from the CHE/HELTASA in December 2011. Her name will feature on an information sheet to be handed out at the annual HELTASA conference (30 November – 2 December 2011) and it will also be featured on the HELTASA and CHE websites.

Of her teaching philosophy, Prof Potgieter describes the following: "The metaphor for authentic teaching and learning that I hold dearly is that of a campfire with a circle of friends sitting shoulder to shoulder around it. For me teaching should neither be teacher-centred nor student-centred, but discipline-centred (Parker Palmer, The courage to teach). The discipline itself is the centre-piece, the focus of attention, the source of energy. The purpose of the gathering is to engage with the discipline itself. This happens both individually and collectively within this nurturing community. While gazing into the fire the hearts and minds are open. The teacher is a mentor and a coach. He shares his passion and insights knowing that his position is not one of superiority, but of stewardship.  In my view authentic teaching and learning are built on the values of respect and humility. As a teacher I respect each student for the gifts and weaknesses that s/he has been endowed with and the troublesome journey that s/he has to travel. I respect the discipline for its power and demands and I engage with it in humility. And I acknowledge that I am a steward of the discipline and of the best interests of the students."
Congratulations Prof Potgieter, we are very proud of your deserving achievement!

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