Professor Robin Kearns

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

School of Environment, The University of Auckland

“An unswerving belief in learner potential.

A mentor once told Robin to 'bite off more than you can chew, then chew like hell!' Robin has taken this advice to heart. He is an internationally recognised researcher. He is a dedicated and energetic teacher of learners at every level, covering a very wide range of subjects across human geography, the environment and public health. He focuses on cultural safety, he mentors and he shares his teaching expertise with others.

Robin’s goal is to inform, provoke and captivate, although he recognises that teaching is 'an imperfect art'.

Theatresports training helped him to use humour and 'embrace the unexpected'. In supervising, he journeys alongside learners, resulting in a shift from being regarded as an expert, to being viewed as a colleague. Expert at reflective practice, he reviews and revises teaching and assessment strategies for maximum impact.

Superlative evaluations demonstrate his success. A learner noted: 'It is a culmination of his intellect, enthusiasm and eagerness to … explore … which makes Dr Robin Kearns … a superb one of a kind lecturer'.