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Crawford’s award-winning teaching secrets revealed!

17 June 2024

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Creina Day is an Associate Professor of Economics. She founded and directs the ‘Growth, Demographics and Productivity’ research program in the Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis (CAMA). Her reputation in the field of macroeconomics and economic growth has been established through seminal papers in leading international journals and recognised with the JG Crawford Award for best original paper.

Associate Professor Creina Day, a beloved teacher at Crawford, has been recognised for her work with the ANU Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award. We sat down with her to find out how she keeps her teaching fresh, and her students engaged.

“Working with such a diverse and talented group of students and faculty at Crawford is incredibly rewarding,” she expresses.

Associate Professor Day says that this award highlights her long-standing commitment to excellence, which is supported by robust evaluation practices. She attributes her ability to keep the content fresh and engaging by promoting the 3R philosophy: Relevance, Research-led curricula, and Reflection.

The 3R philosophy then allows her teaching style to be student-centered and inclusive. She strives to create innovative approaches that promote inclusivity, integrating reflective practice into digital learning with Crawford’s online offerings. Additionally, she emphasizes critical thinking and problem-solving skills, encouraging students to apply theoretical concepts. “By fostering a supportive learning atmosphere, I aim to inspire curiosity and enthusiasm for learning in my students,” she added.

She notes her ability to bridge theoretical concepts with real-world examples, integrate a gender perspective, and foster interdisciplinary connections demonstrates a versatility that facilitates student engagement with postgraduate macroeconomics. This grabs the attention of students in IDEC8002 Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy and IDEC8008 Open Economy Macroeconomics, Finance, and Development.

A recent IDEC graduate reflected, “I never really liked macroeconomics. I just never find the allure of it. But I will always remember the macroeconomics courses at Crawford with Associate Professor Creina Day. She made learning so interesting. One thing I especially liked was how she demonstrated how math, instead of making our understanding harder, can make our comprehension of economic concepts more precise and even simpler.”

Associate Professor Day says that engaging students who are not naturally inclined towards macroeconomics involves making the subject matter relatable and relevant to their interests and careers. “I use real-world examples to demonstrate the practical applications of macroeconomic concepts. Additionally, I develop a curriculum that presents the more advanced treatment of journal articles and textbooks in an accessible format for students and policymakers,” and it is working.

Associate Professor Day acknowledges that her success is also attributed to the wonderful support and collaboration from the learning and teaching teams at Crawford and the ANU. Their dedication and teamwork create an environment where innovative teaching can thrive.

Staying at the top of her game means that Associate Professor Day needs to create balance in her life. Outside of work, she told us she enjoys walking and exploring the natural beauty of Canberra. “I find that spending time in nature is a great way to relax and recharge,” she said. The flora and fauna around campus are captivating, she adds “My first pet was a duck who I rescued from being auctioned at a school fete when I was five years old. Ducks and ducklings waddling across the lawns at Crawford and gliding gracefully across the lake always bring a smile to my face.”

Receiving this teaching award is a profound honour for Associate Professor Day, she says, particularly considering the calibre of her fellow recipients. “It signifies that my efforts to create a stimulating and supportive learning environment for diverse student needs are appreciated and valued at the highest level within the university.”

“The recognition reaffirms my commitment to innovative and inclusive teaching practices, and it inspires me to continue striving for excellence in education.”

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Updated:  23 July 2024/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team