Video - Australian teacher judged one of the best in the world
Mar 14, 2016 | Videos
Rick Johnson missed out on a $1.3 million prize this morning - but the Perth science teacher should be grinning like he won the lottery.
The fact that he was one of just ten people selected globally for the most glittering prize in teaching is a major coup for Australian education.
The fact that he brings that level of quality to an unpretentious primary school in rural WA speaks volumes for his humility and for the level of excellence that can be found in the government school system.
The Global Teacher Prize is a US $1 million award presented annually to “an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession”.
It acknowledges and celebrates the impact of the best teachers on the planet - not only on their students but on the communities around them.
Following a week of rock star treatment for all ten finalists in Dubai, the ceremony featured presentations from Matthew McConaughey and Salma Hayek, video messages from Bill Clinton and Prince William and a winner’s announcement by Pope Francis himself.
It’s all a long way from Rostrata Primary School, south of Perth, where 60-year-old Rick set up Australia’s first school science laboratory specifically for young children.
Supported by crowdfunding, donations from local businesses and a $25,000 grant he received for winning the 2013 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science Teaching, the lab allows his primary-age students to engage with augmented reality resources and work on project areas such as robotics.
The winner of the Global Teaching Prize 2016 was Palestine’s Hanan Al Hroub, who teaches children affected by violence to embrace learning through play and encourages peaceful resolution of school conflicts in a region beset by violence.
Other finalists hailed from the UK, Japan, Finland, Kenya, the US, India and Pakistan.
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