LECTURERS from the University of Chichester have won a national award for a teaching module that encouraged students to make a difference in their community.
Dr Duncan Reavey and Dr Linda Cooper urged their class of teacher-trainees to lead projects to help nearby schools and charities and assist children to learn.
The prize was awarded by the national Teacher Education Advancement Network (TEAN), which supports and promotes innovation and development in learning.
Principal lecturer Dr Reavey said: ‘We challenge our final-year primary education undergraduates to make a real change in their workplace.
‘One day a week, across four months, groups of three to five students work to provide genuine products for community groups and schools.’
More than 120 teacher-trainee students in around 35 individual groups take the module each academic year.
Projects ranged from building a Second World War air raid shelter at Fishbourne Primary School to creating an adventure trail at the Weald and Downland Museum.
Dr Cooper, a senior lecturer in primary education, added: ‘The students manage the work themselves, from finding an idea to sourcing materials to build the developments, and forging close relationships with schools and community groups.
‘It means they graduate from Chichester with the experience to lead projects and the confidence to tackle problems and try out new ideas.’
The TEAN award, a commendation for effective practice in teacher education, was presented to both Dr Reavey and Dr Cooper.