Teaching and Learning Gallery

Marton Balazs

Marton shares more detail about their practice us and how they felt about being shortlisted for a Bristol Teaching Award.  

  1. Which Award were you shortlisted for? 

Inspiring and Innovative Teaching Award – Individual 

  1. How did you feel when you found out you had been shortlisted for an Award? 

I am deeply honoured by being shortlisted. There can be no greater reward than my Student Audience appreciating what I do for them. 

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about your practice and why you were nominated? 

I am trying to create an interactive atmosphere in the lectures, stopping at crucial points and asking students why they think an argument is built up the way it is. Critical thinking is perhaps the most important skill we are aiming to transfer and doing this via a dialogue seems to be welcomed by most students. No one is forced to answer in my lectures – but anyone can and I am very happy to see engaged students who connect the dots and advise our next step in a proof. The answers are sometimes perfect, sometimes a bit off. Both cases are great: one can learn a lot from a good guess even if it isn’t the one leading to the solution. We always discuss why an idea works while another one doesn’t. I am also a firm believer in mandatory practice problems; mathematics is learnt by doing it. 

  1. What inspires you to go the extra mile with your teaching? 

I am very lucky to have come from a very good educational environment throughout my studies. Several instructors I learned from provided inspiration for life. From early on I understood the beauty of a well constructed elegant argument and now I am trying to show this same beauty to anyone following my classes. 

  1. What would you like to share with others about your teaching practice? 

I am sure you see the elegance in the topics you teach. Show it to your students, make them work hard to discover it themselves. 

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