Distinguished Professor Viviane Robinson has been made a Fellow of Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Being made a Fellow is an honour that recognises true international distinction in research and scholarship.

Viviane is a Distinguished Professor in the School of Learning, Development and Professional Practice, and Academic Director of the Centre for Educational Leadership, which has delivered the national induction programme for new school leaders for the last 10 years. Viviane also leads the Leadership Research Group at the Faculty, which carries out research that covers a broad range of issues in school leadership, educational policy and leadership skills, particularly interpersonal leadership skills that are crucial to effective leadership.

Viviane specialises in school improvement, leadership and the relationship between research and the improvement of practice. She is the author of five books and numerous chapters and journal articles. Her latest book entitled “Student-Centred Leadership” an evidence-based account of how school leaders can make a bigger difference to student outcomes and the knowledge and skills they need to do so.

“I am delighted that the central importance of leadership research and development has been recognised by this Fellowship and hope that it will encourage other social scientists to pursue this are of research,” she says.

“It feels like a wonderful recognition of my 40-year academic career and is especially sweet after being awarded the RSNZ Mason Durie medal last year.”

“I’d like to thank my colleagues in the Leadership Research Group in the Faculty of Education – with whom I have done some of the empirical research on leadership capabilities, and my colleagues in the University of Auckland Centre for Educational Leadership who have helped me greatly in the translation of my research into leadership development interventions now used in New Zealand and overseas.”

The Fellowship means she gets access to the work and wisdom of wonderful New Zealand scientists and researchers across the disciplines.

Viviane is currently working on her next book on the capabilities required by educational leaders to make a bigger difference to the quality of teaching and learning in their schools.

“Those capabilities involve using deep educational knowledge to solve complex problems of teaching and learning, while building trust with all those involved. I want to integrate these three capabilities with some important leadership virtues like courage, so the capabilities are firmly grounded in an ethical framework.”

Dean of Education and Social Work Professor Graeme Aitken has welcomed the honour.

“This is thoroughly deserved recognition of a lifetime of dedication and commitment to evidence-based national and international research and development that contributes to the improvement of policy and practice – especially in the areas of school improvement, and leadership.”

In all, the Royal Society made 16 researchers and scholars Fellows. They have advanced knowledge in the areas of history, theology, art, computer science, psychology, law, Māori studies, chemistry, soil science, poetry, linguistics, geology, education, engineering and mathematics.

“We are pleased to see a strong showing of new Fellows from the humanities and social sciences in this selection round,” says Academy Chairperson Professor Barry Scott FRSNZ, who is also a Vice President of the Society.

“In being elected Fellows, these people have demonstrated a depth of intellect and originality in their thinking that enriches our lives and broadens our knowledge through their inquiries.”


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