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'Philosopher of the Wonder' wins national teaching award


20 November 2012

Professor Rick Benitez: "My fundamental aim as a teacher is to make a lasting positive difference to people's attitudes towards learning and communicating their ideas."
Professor Rick Benitez: "My fundamental aim as a teacher is to make a lasting positive difference to people's attitudes towards learning and communicating their ideas."

Professor Rick Benitez from the Department of Philosophy has been honoured with the 2012 Award for Teaching Excellence from the Australian government's Office for Learning and Teaching. The award worth $25,000 was announced at a ceremony in Parliament House, Canberra.

Benitez creates a love of learning in his students by adopting two teaching approaches: using current issues and events to give contexts to his teaching and providing constructive feedback and assessments.

He hopes his students see him as the 'Philosopher of the Wonder'- someone who enjoys trying to understand and who seeks to share that enjoyment with his students.

"My fundamental aim as a teacher is to make a lasting positive difference to people's attitudes towards learning and communicating their ideas," said Benitez.

"I love to see students in a classroom light up with enthusiasm for learning. Even more than that, I love to hear from them many years later and find out how that enthusiasm continues, whether in an academic setting or otherwise."

"Rick's teaching is enriched by his generosity of spirit. Not only does he inspire his students through his enthusiasm and passion for philosophy, he also teaches and inspires his peers," said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) and Registrar Derrick Armstrong.

"His respect for his students and colleagues means that he is also learning from them too. It means he is always looking for ways to improve and adapt his courses."


Find out more about Rick Benitez's approach to teaching. 


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Enquiries: Sally Sitou, 9351 8647, 0401 135 962, sally.sitou@sydney.edu.au