Physics and Astronomy
- Trent University’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Educational Leadership and Innovation in Instruction, 2008
- Canadian Association of Physicists’ Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 1996
- Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education’s 3M Teaching Fellowship, 1993
- Ontario Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Teaching, 1993
- Trent University’s Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1992
Dr. Alan Slavin has been inspiring and guiding Trent students since 1973. A professor with the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Prof. Slavin has taught courses in elementary physics, electronics and solid state physics. He has also been the coordinator of the fourth year project course and served as chair of the department. His research interests are in the physics of solid surfaces, specifically nanostructure and chemical interactions.
Referred to as an “advocate for innovative teaching”, Prof. Slavin has received numerous teaching awards. He has introduced groundbreaking teaching approaches into his courses at Trent, including pioneering the use of electronic ‘clickers’ during class in order to effectively facilitate classroom participation and peer instruction. He was among the first in Canada to adopt new teaching approaches, such as Peer Instruction and Just-in-Time Teaching, which are proven to be highly effective in developing teaching and learning in physics. He has been described as being “fuelled by a genuine desire to improve teaching and learning in physics”, and has delivered 15 presentations on teaching in higher education, written many journal and conference papers on the subject, and developed a teaching handbook for new Physics faculty members.
In the multiple teaching award nomination letters submitted by Trent students, Prof. Slavin’s commitment to teaching and his ability to share his knowledge is always cited. Students repeatedly emphasize the individual care and attention he provides, and his ability to find time for them no matter how busy he is.
Prof. Slavin holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Masters of Science from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.