Best teacher Jozi

Marjorie Brown has been named one of the 50 best teachers in the world. She is currently on a shortlist for the 2018 Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize.


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Marjorie Brown is the head of the History Department at Roedean School in Johannesburg. Her passion and dedication for educating the young minds of South Africa led her to be nominated and shortlisted for the 2018 Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize.

The prize, should she win, will amount to nearly R 13 million ($1 million). This year more than 30 000 educators from 173 countries entered and Marjorie was selected as part of the top 50.

“Marjorie is a former human rights activist, teaching history to girls in South Africa and encouraging critical thinking and global citizenship. Her students have gone on to represent South Africa at youth forums, the Paris Climate Talks, and various Ivy League universities. She started and still leads the Kids Lit in SA programme, devoted to improving children’s literacy in what is still a very unequal society.”

Her dedication has led to numerous literacy programmes and quiz’s in underdeveloped schools. In 2018 the South African Department of Education is using the Phendulani quiz as a pilot project in 45 new reading clubs.

The Varkey Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation established to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children throughout the world.

“The prize serves to underline the importance of educators and the fact that, throughout the world, their efforts deserve to be recognised and celebrated. It seeks to acknowledge the impacts of the very best teachers – not only on their students but on the communities around them.”

Murray Thomas, the Executive Head at Roedean shared his thoughts with ‘iol’ about her teaching methods. It is evident that Marjorie goes above and beyond to ensure her pupils have access to the best information.

“As a history teacher, she is unsurpassed,”

“She helps students learn from, and understand the past. But she goes further, too: by developing critical insights, she helps her pupils to understand what drove people to be resistors, bystanders, collaborators and perpetrators in different situations.”

“She supplements the classroom materials with a wide network of guest speakers she has access to, alongside diverse and stimulating media from these periods and from her own personal experience, too.”

“Marj was recently voted on to the Executive Committee of the South African Society of History Teachers and presented a paper for the 2017 conference of the International Society of History Didactics.  She has written and published journal articles on teaching History through De Bono’s Thinking Maps and recently participated in a school-based teacher training initiative and completed the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s course on Visible Thinking.”

We are wishing this brilliant teacher all the best for the final process. South Africa stands with you, Marjorie!

Sources: iol
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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