Dr Andrew Fairbairn is an outstanding teacher who seeks to develop in his students an understanding of the human past, and to provide an ethically informed, well-rounded professional education in archaeology. Drawing on his extensive experience as an archaeologist, including Australian Research Council supported fieldwork, laboratory research on three continents, and a comprehensive knowledge of the archaeological history of Europe and the Middle East, Andy brings to the classroom a high level of academic authority. 

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As an active and accomplished researcher, his fieldwork and published papers add significantly to the in-class scholarship that is a feature of his classes. Andy blends his natural enthusiasm with a carefully-crafted approach to learning that emphasises group work, involvement in problem-solving projects, and direct engagement with archaeological materials. The lecture and laboratory content inspire students to learn and excel in archaeological science method and theory, and they have generated consistently high teaching evaluations and qualitative feedback. His commitment to the development of critical thinking and analytical skills permeates his interaction with colleagues and students.
National and local leadership in teaching and learning issues has been demonstrated with significant contributions to the Australian Learning and Teaching Council funded project, National Teaching Benchmark in Archaeology.   This project has influenced the structure and direction of Australia’s archaeology degrees and thus archaeology’s professional practice. Andy’s involvement in the development of the guidelines generated by the project is an outstanding achievement for a mid-career academic and demonstrates the high regard in which he is held by his peers.
Andy has a strong belief in mutual respect between the staff member and student. He has a strong record in student mentoring and advice, bringing direction and leadership to his disciplinary program’s curriculum in the BA and leading initiatives in Indigenous engagement. A project to provide a freely available online course for Indigenous communities in cultural heritage management was initiated by Andy. This model is now being used to plan other disciplinary outreach programs in the School of Social Science.
Andy is a dedicated teacher who spends a considerable amount of time in weekly volunteer laboratory sessions where students have the opportunity to develop their skills and interact informally with staff and other students. He fosters independent learning through strategies that allow students to present their own work to their peers as well as engaging in informal debates, thus building confidence and encouraging personal growth. Consistent with his teaching style is his use of open and honest discussion, interaction, and encouragement.
Andy has initiated several complementary research projects to ensure alignment of the University’s archaeology curriculum with the new benchmark statements. He has demonstrated success in innovative course design, curriculum and facilities development, mentorship, strong outcomes in Honours and Research Higher Degree supervision, extra-curricular teaching, community outreach and student outcomes. His involvement in all aspects of University teaching testifies to his deep commitment to the discipline of archaeology, his students and his colleagues.

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