Two teachers from Victoria and WA have been recognised in a prestigious competition this morning for their outstanding work and contributions to teaching in Australia.
Perth primary school teacher Richard Johnson was among the top 10 finalists for the $1 million Global Teacher Prize while Christian Williams from Ashburton in Victoria also made it into the prestigious Prize shortlist, ranking in the top 40 finalists.
The annual prize recognises an exceptional teacher from around the world who has made an outstanding contribution to education.
Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham congratulated Mr Johnson and Mr Williams as role models for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) teaching.
“For Richard and Christian to be ranked among the best teachers in the world from a pool of 8000 entrants from 148 countries is a great achievement and showcases some of the best of Australian teaching to the world,” Minister Birmingham said.
“They have been at the cutting-edge of STEM teaching, sparking their students’ interest in areas as diverse as 3D printing through to using technology to teach children how to cook and keep healthy.
“Their success is a reminder that the quality of teachers is the most important in-school factor in a child’s success.
“The Turnbull Government wants to encourage work like that being done by Richard and Christian, which is why we have committed $64.6 million through our National Innovation and Science Agenda to engage students of all ages in STEM subjects.
“Competitions like the Global Teacher Prize are a great opportunity for Australian teachers to hear from and learn about international examples that can help them in their own classrooms.”
Richard Johnson designed the first advanced STEM laboratory for children at Rostrata Primary School where students apply their skills to robotics and 3D printing. Last year the class built a harmonograph out of components they designed and manufactured with a 3D printer, and Richard’s students have consistently improved their performance in tests since 2006.
Christian Williams teaches at St Michael’s Primary School where he motivates students through experiences and activity. He has created an iPhone app and cooking show to teach children about healthy eating and exercise.
For more on Richard Johnson see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxS5BWaF9RU#t=75