A teacher at Sevenoaks School has said that being shortlisted for the Global Teacher Prize allowed her to meet “inspirational” teachers and plan future collaboration.
Cat Davison, director of service and partnerships, and a critical thinking and TOK teacher, at Sevenoaks School in Kent, is a top 50 finalist for this year’s Global Teacher Prize.
The Varkey Foundation’s $1m global award “serves to underline the importance of educators and the fact that, throughout the world, their efforts deserve to be recognised and celebrated”.
Davison was nominated by volunteers across the EduSpots network which she founded five years ago. It is a collaborative project which connects and equips local volunteers in their desire to advance educational opportunity in rural Ghana and Kenya.
Davison said: “Joining the Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize community has also allowed me to meet inspirational teachers and sow seeds for future collaboration. I feel proud, not just of myself, but of all the colleagues, students and parents I’ve worked with. I’m excited for the opportunity to profile ideas, curricula and programmes I’ve helped develop to promote active citizenship.”
The EduSpots network now enables over 15,000 people to access resources and learning support through 42 libraries led by 300 local volunteers who share ideas via WhatsApp, conferences and programmes.
Furthermore, thousands of students across the world participate in EduSpots’ online courses which apply postcolonial thinking to development practice.
Davison said independent schools must continue to reflect on the relationship that they have with society. “Given the diversity across schools, this should be informed by the context of specific schools and their communities.”
She continued: “I believe that the greatest impact in society that independent schools can offer is educating students to become inclusive, critically informed and active citizens. Moving beyond models of charity and service that only provide short-term support, there is an opportunity to connect service actions with our wider curriculums to catalyse deeper student engagement and collective transformation.
“Many students already want to use their educational advantage to learn about social inequalities and use their voice to promote a fairer society. We have an exciting opportunity to give students the skills, critical understanding and confidence to enable them to work together with students in different schools to create innovative and inclusive solutions to social and environmental challenges.”