Western Cape teacher among top 50 teachers worldwide | Western Cape Education Department
Western Cape teacher among top 50 teachers worldwide

Western Cape teacher among top 50 teachers worldwide

18 October 2023

Dr Mariette Wheeler, a Life Sciences teacher at Protea Heights Academy, is one of the top 50 finalists for the prestigious Global Teacher Prize!

Candidates for the Global Teacher Prize are judged on a rigorous set of criteria to identify an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession. The Top 50 Finalists of 2023 were selected from over 7 000 nominations and applications from 130 countries around the world.

Dr Wheeler's dedication to education and to making a difference in the lives of her learners and the larger community have earned her this well-deserved recognition.

Her passion for her subject and sharing her knowledge with her learners are admirable.

In 2021, Dr Wheeler won the Department of Basic Education’s Best Teacher Award. Her teaching approach emphasizes working towards the simplest possible explanation of material, and she implements this in various ways. Learners explain work to each other in small peer groups, have class debates, participate in charades-like class competitions, and use the Quizziz app to learn difficult scientific terms.

Outside the classroom, she also makes monthly record broadcasts on marine life for a local radio station, listened to by around 400 000 people.

“I am delighted to have been selected as one of the Top 50 Finalists, along with fellow South African Mokolwane Eric Masweneng from Limpopo Province”, she said.

Nine of the 50 finalists are from Africa. In the history of this award, a total of eight teachers from South Africa have made it to the Top 50 and Top 10 Global Teacher Prize Finalists. Three of these are from the Western Cape including Warren Sparrow (Top 50, 2015) and Wendy Horn (Top 50, 2018) who is currently the District Director of the Metro North Education District.

“While this is an international competition, a large focus is also on creating networks between teachers to learn with and from each other. This aspect is especially important to me as I strongly believe that a teacher should not work in his/her class as a silo but should collaborate with others and share resources.

“I am delighted to be one of the Global Teacher Prize Top 50 Finalists and honoured to represent my school (Protea Heights Academy), the Western Cape Education Department, South Africa and Africa. Thank you for all the support.”

 Protea Heights Academy congratulated Dr Wheeler on her nomination and for representing the school globally. “We are grateful to have you as part of our team and we wish you all the best in the next phase of the competition!”

Visit https://globalteacherprize.org/news/global-teacher-prize-finalists/2023-finalists-global-teacher-prize/1150/1150-Mariette-Wheeler for more information about Dr Wheeler’s nomination.