The rhymes and reasons of teaching


Dr David Goddard

Standard Error by Dr David Goddard from the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine has won first prize in an inaugural University poetry competition.

The Office of the Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching) is behind the poetry competition, which invited submissions on the theme of "Teaching as a human experience".

The competition offered a first prize of either publication in Volume One of the anthology series Teaching as a Human Experience: An Anthology of Contemporary Poems, or a cash prize. Dr Goddard’s poem has been submitted for consideration to the editor of the anthology, Patrick Blessinger, Founder and Executive Director of the Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association.

The poems in the collection will deal with contemporary teaching experiences of professors, instructors and others working in education. It will cover the many roles teachers play, including instructing, lecturing, mentoring, facilitating, coaching, guiding and leading.

As illustrated in Dr Goddard’s poem, viewing teaching and learning through the lens of poetry provides a novel way to engage teachers and students more deeply in the teaching-learning process. This competition sought to showcase the creative use of language and writing, and demonstrate how these skills can be used for creative self-expression, professional development and personal empowerment.

The Office of the Vice-Provost was delighted by staff participation in the competition and the judging panel was very pleased with the standard of entries.

The competition has highlighted that, when undertaken attentively, reflectively and effectively, teaching is a highly creative activity. The poems submitted reflected the creativity that the Monash community also hopes to encourage in students.