Are there any excellent sessional instructors? How do we acknowledge them? This study explored the public acknowledgement of sessional teaching excellence through analyzing university-level teaching awards awarded to recipients in Ontario from 2013-2018. For this study, I documented teaching award information and recipient information to identify who is receiving public recognition for good teaching, and who may not be. My analysis explored national-, provincial-, institutional-, departmental-, and association-level teaching awards to identify: (a) what teaching awards exist; (b) those who are eligible to receive these awards; (c) those who actually receive teaching awards; and (d) if there are patterns seen in the demographics of award recipients which may suggest inherent acceptance or disposition toward acknowledging non-tenure-track faculty as distinguished educators. Overall… well, you’ll have to come to the presentation to find out!
This research ultimately encourages institutions, departments, student groups, and award committees to consider how the power they possess to publicly acknowledge good teaching affects precarious educators. To this end, the effectiveness of teaching awards can be further clarified, debated, and justified.