Professor Carlos Noreña is one of five UC Berkeley faculty selected as recipients of the 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award, the campus’s most prestigious honor for teaching. The award recognizes teaching that incites intellectual curiosity in students, engages them thoroughly in the enterprise of learning, and has a lifelong impact.
From the department nomination:
Every lecture has a clear skeletal structure, presented to the class in advance; every word that comes out of Noreña’s mouth is a direct contribution to some larger point adumbrated in the outline, fleshing out the initial structure and giving it life. Like all good teachers, Noreña has plenty of artistry about him, but he also leaves nothing to chance: good teaching is about careful organization and thoughtful preparation. In his own words: “As a teacher, whether in a large lecture or a small seminar, I aim to model for students a critical engagement with different bodies of evidence, and the mobilization of that evidence to argue a particular thesis, drawing attention, wherever possible, to qualifications and counterarguments, and highlighting the partial and provisional nature of most answers to historical questions big and small. Students at the beginning of a course, expecting a tidy presentation of names, dates, and facts, are sometimes disconcerted by this approach, but they eventually come to see that History is really about formulating questions about the past and building arguments from evidence. If I have done my job, by the end of the course they have begun to do these things for themselves; and if I have done my job well, they have even begun to push back against my interpretations and arguments.”
The campus community is invited to a ceremony and reception on April 19, 2017 in Sibley Auditorium at 5pm.