The winner of the 2014 Student Academic Choice Award for Best Teaching for Postgraduates was Dr Mike Tennant, Centre for Environmental Policy.
"Their hard work made my job almost easy"
Mike is a lecturer in the Centre for Environmental Policy and convenes the “Business and Environment” option on the MSc Environmental Technology, where he works with highly motivated and talented students to change the world. He’s had a pretty eclectic work life so far, starting with a PhD in theoretical chemistry, 15 years in pharmaceutical research and now part of a research group looking into industrial sustainability. Most recently he took up the role of UK Education Lead for Climate-KIC.
Reaction to winning the SACA for Best Teaching for Postgraduates
"I’m incredibly humbled to be recognised for this award in the SACA. I must say, however, that all the praise should go to the students – their hard work made my job almost easy and certainly more than worthwhile!"
What students said about Dr Mike Tennant
- "Once in a while you meet somebody who has a profound effect on the way in which you see the world. Mike is such a person. In my many years of consecutive academic study, I can assuredly say he is hands down the best teacher I have ever had the fortune of being taught by. Never in my life have I enjoyed study so much. His focus is on LEARNING rather than teaching for teaching's sake."
- "His teaching methods are interesting, he has exposed us to the most incredible external speakers throughout the term and year and he strives for us all to achieve higher than we thought possible. He stretches and expands our minds to challenge us to think for ourselves and innovatively in order to question not just what is current thinking but also what we are taught."
- "When required he gives solid and useful advice, but he assess the need for it on an individual case basis and pushes you to come up with your own thoughts and ideas. He directs rather than tells us what to think and the differences between our option and others is striking when we are all together as we can think for ourselves where others cannot. He aims to boost confidence in students that lack it and gives them the tools to do so. It is not just a term in a masters course, this is constant life development!"
- "The real reason for which I believe Mike should earn an award for his efforts is for his emphasis on critical reflexive thinking skills. These skills are crucial for us to graduate with a critical sense to view the world and a the capacity to reflect on our learning and experiences. Every friday Mike has timetabled a reflective session on the previous week's material. Every week a different pair of students facilitates and formulates guiding questions. Mike does not participate in the process but instead allows it to unfold, directed by the group's own flow. I imagine that he does so in order to avoid imposing any kind of limit or view, but instead wishes for us to build our own learning. Only at the end of the session he gives us his own view and feedback. These sessions are, to say the least, inspiring. Actually, they are great."
- "I am positive that learning to challenge the way I think and thus the way I act and behave in the world has profound consequences on the growth of my analytical capacity. In these years Mike has really created an outstanding course, which I have already strongly suggested to some of my friends outside of Imperial who are looking for an MSc."
- "The teaching is very varied and he puts great emphasis on helping us think rather than simply provide the answers. He also takes a great interest in his students outside the lectures, and provides excellent academic support! Best teacher I have had at university throughout my whole academic career."
- "After every lecture I have from Mike I feel like I have learnt something of significance. This is a product of Mike's incredible knowledge of sustainability, business, psychology and politics, but also his unique teaching style."