We are thrilled to announce the Top 10 Global Teacher Prize Finalists. Our Top 10 teachers are a richly diverse group of individuals: hailing from five continents, they each employ unique teaching methods in the most varied of surroundings – from hi-tech labs through to refugee camps. Using devices as diverse as the very latest in web-based learning, lego and even simple song and dance, all ten of our teachers go beyond the call of duty to make the complex simple and the ordinary extraordinary.
We think they’re truly out of this world. It is fitting, then, that our Top 10 finalists should be introduced by none other than eminent theoretical physicist and cosmologist, Professor Stephen Hawking. Witness for yourself his moving tribute here:
Here are the Global Teacher Prize Top 10 Finalists. Congratulations Teachers!
Championing female education in Pakistan
Having escaped the Taliban in Afghanistan, Aqeela began teaching in a borrowed tent in a refugee camp, providing the first taste of education to young Afghan and Pakistani girls. Today, over a thousand girls have graduated from her schools and she has been fundamental to changing attitudes towards female education in a deeply conservative community.
Combating extremism in Kenya
For children in Nairobi and rural Kenya, unemployment and poverty are not the only challenges they face. In recent years the spectres of radicalisation and violent extremism have reared their heads. Religious Education teacher, Ayub Mohamud, has been fighting this encroachment, creating a network of like-minded teachers and formulating new strategies for combatting extremism.
@ayub1976 on Twitter
Using the power of the internet to make maths fun
Mathematics is the subject that many children find the hardest to understand and relate to. In the UK, one teacher has harnessed the power of the internet to engage them and, with his unique style, help them understand concepts they had struggled to grasp. Colin Hegarty has created over 1500 videos and made them freely available on his website and through YouTube. Five million views and grateful comments from students all over the world are testimony to his success.
@hegartymaths on Twitter
Promoting peace through education in Palestine
In a society torn apart by conflict where children are regularly exposed to violence, Hanan Al Hroub is building trust and affection in the classroom. Her book, ‘We Play and Learn’, is influential in promoting a new focus of literacy and learning as the future for the Palestinian people.
@hanan_hroub on Twitter
Tearing up the rule book in Illinois
Some teenagers and young adults simply don’t respond to traditional teaching methods. In these cases, it’s time to devise new ways to foster their creativity. In Illinois, Joe Fatheree’s students are making music, books and short films. They are learning through technology, public speaking and lessons in entrepreneurship. They are learning in ways that engage them. And his methods are now being used all over America.
@josephfatheree on Twitter
Fostering creativity in Japan
In a society where many students are channelled into a pre-determined career, Kayuya Takahshi’s pupils often take a different path. His innovative teaching methods are designed to develop creativity and independent thinking. He has even started a global citizenship project in which his students travel to Indonesia to help tackle social issues.
Bringing Maths to life in Finland
Too many children hate Maths. But Maarit Rossi believes the problem isn’t with Maths itself but simply the way it’s taught. So she has developed new teaching methods that relate maths problems to her students’ real lives. Her techniques have had a major impact on results, notably amongst girls who have traditionally done less well in maths than boys.
@pathstomath on Twitter
Finding the joy in helping others
From the small town of Newfoundland in Pennsylvania, the children of Wallenpaupack South Elementary School have reached out to the world. They have helped provide clean water to fight a cholera outbreak in Kenya, held videoconferences with scientists in Antarctica and conservationists in Africa and had lessons in Swahili from Kenyan children. It’s all part of Michael’s approach to teaching of empowering student and making them believe they can change the world for the better.
@msoskil on Twitter
Transforming STEM teaching in Australia
The possibilities for new technology to enhance education are exciting. And nowhere has technology been as enthusiastically embraced as at the Rostrata Primary School in Western Australia. There, Richard Johnson has transformed science teaching with his innovative laboratory where students use robotics, 3d printing, augmented reality and a host of other tools, real and online, to engage with STEM subjects. He now shares his methods with the wider educational community at conferences and online.
Giving India’s forgotten victims a voice
The people of Kamathipura, Mumbai’s notorious red-light district, are on the outer margins of society. However, a small schoolroom in the centre of the district is a remarkable force for change. There, Robin Chaurasiya is giving the girls an education where none had existed before. She teaches them to think and speak for themselves. And they are finding a voice, spreading the word to others in the community and to over 100,000 children and parents.
Check back later for a look inside the classrooms of the ten best teachers in the world and for more on these ten inspiring teachers.