Dr Kevin Larkin wins 2016 Teacher of the Year

Dr Kevin Larkin and Mr Henry Smerdon AM DUniv at the Celebrating Teaching Gala Night at the Gold Coast campus.
Mr Henry Smerdon AM DUniv and Dr Kevin Larkin at the Celebrating Teaching Gala Night at the Gold Coast campus.

Mathematics education lecturer and first-year student advisor Dr Kevin Larkin has won the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Griffith University Teacher of the Year. The award was presented at the Celebrating Teaching Gala Night on Monday, October 31.

From the School of Education and Professional Studies, Dr Larkin’s passion for teaching mathematics stems from his desire to inspire the next generation of creative, motivational mathematics teachers.

“Mathematics is about numbers, languages and symbols — in relationship,’’ he said.

“Likewise, I believe inspirational teaching is based on relationships between Initial Teacher Educators (ITEs) and myself, and between the ITEs and the discipline of mathematics.”

While he teaches large cohorts of students across three campuses, Dr Larkin said he recognises they are all individual learners so he aims to tailor his teaching to meet their needs.

“As a researcher and scholar, improving my teaching is a lifelong endeavour. Thus my teaching equation is written in metaphorical chalk, not permanent pen, and each variable in the equation is modified, as often as is required, to meet the learning needs of each new individual and each new cohort of our future teachers and leaders”.

Outstanding contribution to teaching

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) Professor Debra Henly presented the prestigious award, which acknowledges outstanding contribution to teaching, leadership and scholarship.

“Kevin is a dedicated educator of over 30 years, a scholar and a leader of learning and teaching in his discipline, having published research in teaching mathematics education, as well as contributing to Australian Government-commissioned learning and teaching projects,’’ Professor Henly said.

“Both colleagues and students have noted a major strength of Kevin’s teaching is his dedication and commitment to motivating and inspiring the next generation of teachers to overcome their anxiety with mathematics and to develop their teaching skills as quality mathematics educators.”

Dr Larkin, who also won an Arts, Education & Law Group Award for Excellence in Teaching, is one of many Griffith lecturers who were recognised at this year’s awards held at the Gold Coast and Nathan campuses on October 31 and November 1.

Professor Henly congratulated all award winners nominated by their students and peers.

“These awards are recognition of our teachers’ commitment to enhancing the quality of students’ experience.”

Details of award recipients are below.

2016 Teaching Excellence Award winners