Dr Kevin Morris

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Old Collegian Dr Kevin Morris, the Director of Learning and Teaching at the University of Auckland, attended the College from 1981 to 1985. It was a time of change, he says, including the transition of Headmasters from Dr Adam MacFarlan to Mr Nigel Toy during his Year 11. In his final year as a Bruce House boarder, Kevin was appointed Head Boy. He says being around Mr Toy and other teachers in that era proved to have an enormous influence on his career—and are probably the reason he works in education today.

After graduating from Otago University, Kevin went back to the College for two years to establish himself as a teacher before travelling to work at Caterham School in Surrey, England. Then, it was his US citizenship which pulled him to another corner of the globe: a move to Boston University in 1993 to pursue a doctorate in Education. He says being in a historical university city like Boston was just what he needed at the time. While studying, he also worked in various media corporations including five years at what became AOL Time Warner in New York. It was the mid-1990s during the internet boom; a time, he says, when nobody really knew the potential of the internet or understood what it was about. It proved to be an incredible and somewhat terrifying time to be a part of such a changing industry.

In 2001, Kevin returned to Boston and took on a role at Harvard Business School, which he describes as a steep learning curve but one which transformed his educational beliefs and expectations. He became proficient in the school’s renowned ‘case method’ teaching approach, which recounts real life business or management situations and places students in the role of decision maker, and ultimately prepares them for workplace leadership. In 2003, the University of Auckland Business School expressed an interest in developing this learning technique and he returned to his homeland with his American wife, Cynthia. He says they will always love New England and the Northeast of the U.S., but have now enjoyed a decade living in Auckland’s moderate climate with their two children, Charlotte and Matthew.

This year Kevin left the Business School to take on his current role, which he says is a great honour and a fantastic challenge. The changes in educational technology, he says, are providing opportunities to enhance the quality of learning and the way we think about school experiences. He takes a great interest in primary and secondary schools, and sits on the Board of Trustees at St Paul’s Collegiate School in Hamilton. He says the Saint Kentigern community has always been a very special place for him and he loved the spirit and values of the College from the moment he arrived as a Year 9 student.