Showing how history influences the present is the hallmark of a class with Dr Peter Denney who was recently awarded an Office for Learning and Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.
The School of Humanities lecturer’s innovative approach demonstrates the relevance of history in today’s world and engages students’ interest and thirst for knowledge in his undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
“My teaching is an outgrowth of my belief in the importance of the humanities, particularly history, and my desire to cultivate students’ passion for learning about the human condition,’’ Dr Denney explains.
“History is not just about the past, but about the influence of the past on the present and it is also an unrivalled laboratory for examining human behaviour.”
As well as the hugely popular World History course which attracts more than 300 students and covers 1500 years, Dr Denney has also designed and convened three new courses, the second-year course, A History of Nature, and two online postgraduate courses in transnational history.
“History enhances our understanding of the present by prompting us to question normative perceptions, and I highlight this in my teaching. This fosters critical thinking, social awareness and active citizenship.
“In my teaching I aim to create a supportive and dynamic environment which inspires students to learn, igniting their passion for history, building their sense of agency and enhancing their understanding of the world.”
Dr Denney was also the recipient of a Griffith Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Early Career category, and he was presented with this award at the Celebrating Teaching Gala Night at the Gold Campus on November 3. He received his Office for Learning and Teaching Citation at an earlier ceremony for national award winners in Brisbane on September 29.