Teaching & Learning
Prof Paul Whitla : Aspiring to become a model for students
Having taught at Lingnan for 24 years, Prof Paul WHITLA never forgets why he started and unwaveringly stays true to the education philosophy of nurturing the next generation. He arrives 15 minutes before the start of each lecture, talking to students and trying to understand their thoughts. “I try to be punctual for every class. If the lecture starts at 9am, I make sure that we are ready to begin at exactly that time; I hope to show students what responsibility and professionalism is about,” said Prof Whitla, who sees himself as a role model for students who might not have had someone to show them the expectations of professional business behaviour before coming to the University.
Hoping that students will be equipped with the right attributes, Prof Whitla tries to develop creativity, critical thinking and communications (the “three C’s”) in each of the courses he offers. “In the past, we trained students for skills that would allow them to stay in the same company for 40 years but now they need these transferrable skills to help them navigate in their career life. I expect them to have well-rounded knowledge and be able to look at issues from multiple perspectives,” said Prof Whitla.
As the initiator, developer and executor of the Peers Observing Peers (POP) scheme and a keen supporter of the Transforming Outcomes Through Action Learning (TOTAL) Teacher Experience, Prof Whitla unreservedly shares his insights and advice with colleagues, especially new recruits who may face challenges at the beginning of their teaching career.
As a mentor to both students and colleagues, Prof Whitla’s dedication to teaching renders him a respected figure, trusted and adored by the Lingnan community.