About Kerry

Dr Kerry Howells is an author, award-winning educator and experienced researcher.

Kerry has spent over 25 years researching, teaching and practising gratitude. She has published several academic papers that report on her findings regarding the important role of gratitude in school leadership and teaching, pre-service teacher education, indigenous education, early childhood education, elite athlete coaching, and academic learning. Kerry is currently a visiting Professor at Tallinn University, Estonia, where she teaches an online postgraduate course, Gratitude in Practice.

Working worldwide with school leaders and teachers she has embedded gratitude into all levels of education. Her book, Gratitude in Education: A Radical View has been used globally to guide educational programs, pedagogy and many professional book club groups. This book is also the basis of the university course Kerry initiated in her previous role as an academic at the University of Tasmania. The course – Gratitude in Education – is the first in the world on this topic.

Kerry has a particular interest in cross-cultural lenses of gratitude and their implications for communication and has studied this in Australian indigenous and African indigenous cultures. She has also recently taken up research projects that investigate the role of gratitude in elite sport as well as in end-of-life care for cancer patients.

Kerry has presented on the topic of gratitude to multi-faceted audiences around the world in the form of keynote addresses, conference presentations, podcasts and ABC radio interviews. Kerry’s TEDx talk – How can thanking awaken our thinking? – is one of the top talks on the power of gratitude.

Kerry is particularly passionate about bringing the research on gratitude (her own and others’) and the strategies she has developed to life’s challenging situations.

Her latest book, Untangling you: How can I be grateful when I feel so resentful? is written for a general audience to assist readers to reflect on the interplay between gratitude and resentment when facing everyday dilemmas.



Research Award

Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania


Australian Awards for University Teaching: Award for Programs that Enhance Learning – Educational Partnerships

Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching


Vice Chancellor’s Team Award for Programs that Enhance Learning

University of Tasmania


Research Merit Certificate

Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania


Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence

University of Tasmania


Lecturer of the Year

Australian University Unijobs


Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning

Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC)


Vice-Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning

University of Tasmania


Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning (Team award)

Carrick National Award

2006 - 2009

Teaching Merit Certificate

University of Tasmania

“To reach into the true nature of gratitude, we need to engage with it through action, and discover an embodied understanding through our lived experience, our connectedness to the other”