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LSE Teaching Prize Award 2012

Lucia Garcia-Lorenzo is a lecturer in the Department of Social Psychology (Psychology@LSE) and directs the MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology. Her PhD at LSE, on cultural change in organisations, followed postgraduate studies at the Universidad del Pais Vasco in Spain. It is perhaps not surprising, given Lucia’s interest in group dynamics and teams, that what she
finds most enjoyable about teaching is engaging with her students. “I learn with them and from them,” she says.

Lucia's aim in lectures is to generate a “blame-free space” where students feel able to ask questions, talk to each other and contest what they hear. The resulting conversations are often highly rewarding: students are typically drawn from many different countries and often have direct work experience, so they have plenty of interesting contributions to make and can also act as helpful sounding boards for Lucia’s own research – a useful way, she finds, of negotiating that often tricky dividing line between teaching and research.

Lucia has noticed a growing emphasis at LSE on the importance of good teaching to support the learning experience, and an increasing awareness that a student’s time at LSE is just one part of a life-long learning journey. It is partly in response to this that her department has established an Department of Social  Alumni and Students network, which seeks to create mentoring-style relationships and make the most of the important links between study and vocational application. Asked what advice she would give to new teaching colleagues, and remembering her first few anxiety-inducing lectures, Lucia says, “Relax... it’s fun. Students are very generous. And they don’t bite!”

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