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Two U.S. Teachers in Running for Global Teacher Prize for Innovative Teaching Practices

Two U.S. Teachers in Running for Global Teacher Prize for Innovative Teaching Practices

Two United States teachers are in the running for the Global Teacher Prize, a prize organized by the Varkey Foundation that will give the winner $1 million in March.

The Global Teacher Prize released the 10 teachers on its shortlist that are in the running for the prize, including Illinois high school teacher Joe Fatheree and Pennsylvania elementary school teacher Michael Soskil.

According to TES, Joe Fatheree has been teaching for thirty years and began developing his own teaching practices after he learned his at-risk students were not responding to what he learned in teacher training.

"His students now learn by producing music, books and short films on topics like poverty, death, bullying, homelessness and human rights. His students also use 3D printing and drone technology in their projects, build educational games for young children using Minecraft, and engage in public speaking,” said TES.

An entrepreneurial program Fatheree developed to encourage students to come back home after graduation and start their own business is being modeled in over thirty cities following its successes.

TES says Fatheree has "led several initiatives that have impacted education policy and practice on national and state level.”

The second nominee from the U.S. is Michael Soskil, who uses neuroscience research to develop his approach to teaching.

“…he bases his approach to teaching on the finding that learning is stored in long-term memory when a child emotionally connects with what is being taught,” TES said.

"He aims to facilitate emotional connections through project- and problem-based learning activities and by allowing students to feel the joy that comes through helping others.”

Soskil’s elementary school students learn from students and experts around the world and his global work led for him to be invited to speak at the United Nations Social Innovation Summit and Social Good Summit conferences.

Described as the "Nobel Prize of teaching," this will be the second-annual awarding of the Global Teacher Prize. Last year's winner was U.S. teacher Nancie Atwell. 

Read the full list of nominated teachers here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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