National Teaching Fellow 2012
The recipient of many awards in recognition of her dedication to teaching, Dr Cristina Leston-Bandeira has made an outstanding contribution to the teaching of politics.
Her passion for teaching has led to the development of innovative approaches through which she has inspired students in even the driest of subjects such as research methods. Her level of engagement with students sets her aside from her colleagues as the following quote from a finalist illustrates:
“Cristina offers the kind of teaching that is rare at university level. Her commitment and dedication not only enthuses and inspires students but wills them to do well. She helps students to find the best in themselves and then to let it out in their assessments.”
She has impacted on students and colleagues alike, promoting the use of student-centred approaches to learning.
Cristina has a vision of politics students who play an active role in building their own understanding of politics rather than being passive receivers of knowledge. Through her belief in students and engaging methods, her students have developed highly innovative projects on a wide range of topics from the impact of Thatcher on popular culture to the development of the Burmese movement for democracy. Fully integrating active learning principles in her teaching, Cristina employs an inspirational variety of teaching methods which wills students to develop deep learning. Her approach to teaching has helped to foster better equipped politics students with strong key transferable skills such as research and communication skills. She has also developed a highly innovative use of eLearning, from online forums to blogs, which help to enhance teaching effectively and has played a key role in disseminating the value of eLearning well beyond her department and University.
Cristina’s enthusiasm for politics and teaching has led to the introduction of pioneering programmes such as the MA in Legislative Studies Online, the first politics MA entirely taught online thanks to which mature students can take the course without leaving their job commitments.
Senior Lecturer of Legislative Studies, Department of Politics and International Studies
University of Hull