Bath Spa University lecturer recognised with national teaching award

By Anita Jaynes on 10 August, 2020

Dr David Simm, Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography at Bath Spa University, has been named as a National Teaching Fellow by Advance HE in its prestigious 2020 Teaching Excellence Awards for Higher Education.

David is one of just 56 new National Teaching Fellows announced on the 20th anniversary of the scheme which celebrates, and recognises, individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student outcomes, and the teaching profession in higher education.

With a high level of competition this year, judges commented that there was a particular drive for impact demonstrated in championing equality, diversity and inclusivity within approaches to curriculum design, teaching delivery and collaborative working.

David said, “I am immensely delighted and honoured to be one of the recipients of this year’s National Teaching Fellow awards. Throughout my career my teaching philosophy has focused on delivering innovative and effective ways of engaging students, in particular through fieldwork opportunities, such as those held internationally.

“By involving students in the design and delivery of their learning I’ve found that they achieve a greater sense of ownership of both their own and others’ learning, and develop mutual respect through shared education experiences. This is also reflective of the wider commitment to innovative teaching approaches that can be found across Bath Spa.”

Alison Johns, Advance HE CEO, added, “All of the winners should be extremely proud of their achievement of what are prestigious, national teaching awards. Their work epitomises the outstanding commitment to teaching in the UK higher education sector, which this year has been more demanding than ever before. Well done to each and every one of them.”

With 25 years of experience in higher education, David is an advocate for teaching and learning to be a dialogue between students and tutors. His interests lie in developing co-production between students using borderland learning spaces.

Innovative teaching practice is at the heart of David’s work, from organising departmental conferences, to showcasing undergraduate research alongside staff and postgraduate talks, supporting the transition of students into and through university, and supporting international work placements.

As an expert in his field, David has shared his ideas and practices nationally and internationally in academic journals and presented at numerous conferences. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Geography in Higher Education, a Chartered Geographer (Royal Geographical Society) and a Senior Fellow.