Faculty professors awarded prestigious RSNZ research medals

24 November 2016

Distinguished Professor Viviane Robinson ONZM has been awarded the Mason Durie Medal.

Two professors from the Faculty of Education and Social Work have been awarded top research honours by the Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ).

Distinguished Professor Viviane Robinson ONZM has been awarded the Mason Durie Medal and Professor Stuart McNaughton ONZM has been honoured with the Dame Joan Metge Medal.

Professor Viviane Robinson (School of Learning, Development and Professional Practice) specialises in improving education through student-centred leadership that focuses on learning and well-being. Her research has shown the considerable effect leadership capabilities and practices have on student performance and has identified the interpersonal leadership skills that make the biggest difference and help learners to their best results.

Her work has changed educational policy and practice in New Zealand and overseas and resources she has developed are used in schools here and in Australia and Scandinavia.

“I am delighted that the critical importance of educational leadership, and leadership more generally, has been recognised through this award. Although the public and politicians are convinced of its importance, leadership is a tough phenomenon to study in a way that shows its impact,” says Professor Robinson.  

To read more about Professor Robinson’s work and the citation for her award click here.

Professor Stuart McNaughton ONZM has been honoured with the Dame Joan Metge Medal.

Professor Stuart McNaughton (School of Curriculum and Pedagogy) ONZM received the Dame Joan Metge Medal for his contribution to educational science research, for advancing literacy and language development and for his impact on education policy, nationally and internationally.

“I am humbled, but also appreciative to receive this award. Appreciative because it is a recognition of how educational science can help solve complex problems to ensure excellent, equitable education for all our children,” he says.

Enhancing educational equity is at the heart of Professor McNaughton’s work. Key to his research has been the testing and development of models to help schools monitor results and identify where different approaches are needed to ensure all children, of diverse backgrounds, have the opportunity to raise their skills and knowledge, academically and socially, to reach their potential and contribute fully to society.

To read more about Professor McNaughton’s work and the citation for his award click here.

Following presentation of the awards Faculty Dean Graeme Aitken said: ”It is notable to me that across their long careers both Stuart and Viviane have shared a commitment to research and development:  to research that has been carried out in the messy world of practice settings, that has focussed on real and stubborn problems of practice, and that has been collaborative with practitioners. 

"They are, as I understand it, interventionists in the best sense – intervening where it matters most alongside those who are most affected and with an over-riding sense of achieving more justice and equitable outcomes. Their vision and persistence, in spite of obstacles and challenges, is captured in the whakatauki: Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei (Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain) I would also like to acknowledge Nic Mason and the leadership she showed in supporting the applications for these awards."  

For the the full list of University of Auckland medal recipients click here.



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