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Inspirational Instruction

Professor Robin NaylorProfessor Robin Naylor, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Economics has been named as a winner of The Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence (WATE) 2013, which recognise and celebrate excellence in teaching and support for learning at Warwick. Robin will receive £5,000 to further enhance his teaching practice. On receiving the award Robin said:

It’s a great delight to win a WATE award and a great encouragement to develop further. I believe that learning is a natural instinct and that something similar must go for teaching too; they are hand and glove. Over the years I’ve learned that the greatest virtue in teaching is patience and that all students are different. When I started out I was advised that it is human to err, that teachers are human, and that students respect teachers who recognise this. And a bit of advice from personal experience… if, as a young lecturer, you're going to fall off the dais onto your back, emitting a high-pitched shriek in the process, it’s better to do so early on in the course as your students will warm to you all the sooner.”

Professor Jeremy Smith, Deputy Head of Department, nominated Robin for the award. He said:

Professor Naylor’s teaching is driven by a love of his subject, a desire to communicate it to others, a concern for students and their progress, and an open friendliness and generosity that he shows to all who come to him, students and colleagues alike. During the past eight years as Director of Undergraduate Studies Robin has promoted the importance of the student experience tirelessly, by devoting an inordinate amount of his time and effort and has been the top ranked lecturer in the student evaluations for each of the last 5 years. His fantastic teaching evaluations come about because of the time and energy he gives to his teaching delivery, in which he supplements his lectures with on-line content of the principles underlying the concepts discussed in lectures.

Robin’s teaching has been recognised in the past by being nominated for both the STARS of Warwick and for the Department’s SSLC-run Excellence in Teaching Economics awards. Robin also previously won the prestigious HEA national award for his teaching at Warwick.

Overall Robin has been a major influence within the Department both as an exponent of best practices and as the major promoter of development of the curriculum. Robin is currently planning how to innovate the undergraduate teaching programme for future cohorts of students who will be arriving at Warwick over the next 5-10 years. He has demonstrated an exceptional devotion to duty and a WATE award for Robin is in our view long overdue."

WATE AwardsWhat Robin's students had to say...

  • A fantastic lecturer that makes students feel very involved. His lectures are fun and informative.
  • He has the ability to engage minds and we are lucky to have him. He's the best lecturer I've had and one of the best teachers I've had throughout my education.
  • Professor Naylor holds the students attention in a firm way, but does it with a fantastic sense of humour, allowing lectures to be fun to attend.
  • He is a very effective and interactive lecturer and I regard his lectures above all others. He sends us regular emails to let us know where we are in terms of the course and what we should know. This is a good way of making sure everyone is up to date and confident.
  • He shows genuine enthusiasm in his teaching. He can also be entertaining, which always helps in keeping the lecture hall attentive.
  • The lectures in this module are by far the best I have had. The lecturer engages everyone, explains concepts clearly and relates them to current or everyday situations.
  • Very interactive and explained brilliantly. Cannot see room for improvement!
  • My favourite lecturer by far. He is engaging, makes the lecture interactive, and overall has struck a good balance of a relaxed atmosphere but one in which students are keen and ready to learn.
  • The man is a credit to the university.
  • An absolutely great lecturer. Robin explains things fully, and supports us throughout the week with material beyond the lecture slides. There is high participation in lectures, and we're often asked to discuss or respond to questions, and this provides a great learning environment in lectures.
  • Robin Naylor is the only lecturer who makes a lecture hall full of 200+ students seem like a classroom with only 5. Lectures are interactive, captivating and interesting.
  • Robin Naylor is, by far and away, the best."

About Professor Naylor

Robin has taught and researched at Warwick since 1986, where he is currently the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Economics. Previously, he studied at the LSE and at Oxford before becoming an Economist in the UK Civil Service. His research focuses on the economic analysis of education, labour markets and socio-economic mobility. Robin has acted as a scientific adviser to the European Commission and as an expert adviser on UK Government panels. His publications in international journals include the Economic Journal, the European Economic Review, the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society and the Quarterly Journal of Economics. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of the European Association of Labour Economists and is currently the Second Secretary of the Royal Economic Society. His work on the economics of education has received much attention in the media, with appearances on BBC2’s Newsnight, Radio 4’s Today Programme and BBC’s Politics Show, and among policy-makers with a number of citations in Hansard and in official government reports.

Find out more about the Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence.