ELSA academic Kevin Larkin wins teacher of the year award

Pictured (L to R): Professor Margaret Gardner AO (Universities Australia Chair), Dr Kevin Larkin, and Professor Kerri-Lee Krause (Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, La Trobe University).


We are overjoyed to congratulate ELSA academic, Dr Kevin Larkin, on winning the 2018 Australian University Teacher of the Year award.

The award was announced at the annual Universities Australia higher education conference at the National Convention Centre in Canberra, which ran from 27 February – 1 March.

Kevin received the award for transforming how maths education is taught, and his internationally published research (not to mention his 35+ years of experience).

Kevin’s talents were further recognised with a second award, also winning the Teaching Excellence in the Social and Behavioural Sciences category. Looks like someone might need to upgrade the trophy cabinet!

Most people know Kevin as a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Education at Griffith University, where he inspires pre-service teachers studying primary education. Specifically, Kevin helps students to overcome negative perceptions of mathematics, learn to their full potential and feel confident in their ability to teach mathematics.

However, at ELSA, we know Kevin as the lead pedagogical expert on three of our four children’s apps. Kevin has been an absolutely vital part of the ELSA team, and instrumental in developing and delivering the ELSA program.

If you ask Kevin, he’ll tell you that his teaching philosophy is (unsurprisingly) best represented by a formula:

positive relationships + innovative pedagogy + purposeful evaluation + sustained scholarship = maximum learning.

And if you’re wondering how Kevin has remained so enthusiastic throughout his career, it seems the buzz he gets from teaching keeps him coming back for more.

‘It is an incredibly powerful experience teaching a person and then sharing in the joy of them discovering new things. I have been a teacher for 37 years and I still get goose bumps when this happens – whether the students are six or 36,’ Kevin said.

If you’d like to hear more about Kevin and his thoughts on winning these incredible awards, listen to one of his recent interviews below:


Kevin’s interview on ABC Radio Brisbane.


Kevin’s interview on 4BC radio.