Educator-in-Residence Programme (EiRP)

EiRP facilitates active exchanges between the NUS academic community and distinguished educators from around the world

EiRP Public Lecture 2012 - Iain Hay

Public Lecture

Click here to view the webcast of Iain Hay's lecture.


A great deal of university teaching goes on behind closed doors, both literally and figuratively. Behind those doors, often-nervous practitioners struggle to deliver seamless, word-perfect presentations that demonstrate flawless knowledge of their subject matter – mired in the self-destructive and unproductive belief that these are the qualities of high quality teaching. Yet perfect delivery and unfailing content mastery are not necessarily attributes of exceptional teaching.

In this public lecture, Iain Hay opens the doors of those classrooms in which some of the world’s most inspiring and capable university educators teach and offers up their insights on the practices and principles of teaching excellence. He draws from and reflects on the autoethnographic accounts of distinguished university teachers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States to uncover the circumstances and practices that have made them great teachers.

Educator in Residence 2012

Iain received a BSc with 1st Class Honours in Geography from the University of Canterbury in 1983 and his PhD from the University of Washington as a Fulbright Scholar in 1989. He went on later to complete a higher doctorate (LittD), also from the University of Canterbury. He is currently Professor of Geography at Flinders University, South Australia and since 2009, the Australia Learning and Teaching Council’s Discipline Scholar for the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities.

Iain became a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators (FACE) in 2009 and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) in 2008. In addition, he has had significant advisory roles in several projects which enhance the scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education, including as an Expert Member for the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) Reference Group on the new national geography curriculum. Iain’s contributions to enhancing and promoting scholarly and creative teaching in his discipline have been recognised by several awards, including the Prime Minister’s Award for Australian University Teacher of the Year in 2006 and the 2010 inaugural Association of American Geographers’ E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller Award.

Iain’s research focuses on geographies of domination and oppression, as well as qualitative methods and research ethics. He has published extensively and taken on editorial roles with several international and regional geography and higher education journals, including Applied Geography, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, and Ethics, Place and Environment. He is the author or editor of ten books including Inspiring Academics: Learning with the World’s Great University Teachers (Open University Press, 2011) and Making the Grade: A Guide to Successful Communication and Study (4th Ed.) (Oxford, 2012). He is also General Editor of Springer's new International Handbooks of Human Geography series. As the Australian Learning and Teaching Council’s Discipline Scholar for the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, his role involves the coordination of nationwide academic standards-setting and the establishment of a national learning and teaching network in Australia. Iain is immediate past President of the Institute of Australian Geographers.