All Ireland Society for Higher Education (AISHE), AISHE-C 2009: Valuing Complexity

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Rewarding Teaching Excellence

Bairbre Redmond

Last modified: 2011-12-20


A major challenge in current higher education is the perceived lack of parity of esteem between teaching and research. Because of this, locating and rewarding excellent teachers within a research-intensive institution is an essential but complex activity. While many institutions now run teaching reward and recognition schemes, how successful are they in the long run at improving the status and the standard of teaching and learning?
This keynote will begin by looking at the concept of `teaching excellence' and the alternative ways in which it can be defined. It will then examine different approaches that have been taken nationally and internationally to recognize and reward outstanding teachers. The paper will also comment on the advantages and disadvantages of retrospective and proactive reward schemes, alternative promotional structures and targeted teaching project grants. Finally a short case study of a Teaching Fellowship scheme will be presented and discussed.