A new award to unearth and celebrate great teaching practice

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A new award to unearth and celebrate great teaching practice

Teachers do amazing things on a daily basis and not enough people get to know about them. Nesta’s new Classroom Changemakers awards programme aims to change that by celebrating changemaking teachers who are coming up with brilliant new ideas on how to encourage young people to be creative and solve problems in maths and computer science.

Classroom Changemakers will see 15 secondary school maths and computer science teachers awarded with £5000 to invest back into their departments, in addition to an expenses paid trip to a final awards ceremony in London. Not only will Classroom Changemakers celebrate the great work of teachers, but we will also be collecting these ideas into a final report which we will be sharing in the hope that it will inspire other teachers to develop their own innovative teaching practice.

The awards are open until Monday 2nd March and teachers should need a maximum of 30 minutes to complete a short application form on their idea, it’s impact on students and what inspired them to develop it. All the information you need to apply is available here.

Classroom Changemakers explainer

Why Classroom Changemakers?

Classroom Changemakers aims to address three things:

  1. Teachers don’t get enough recognition for their work
  2. Creativity and problem solving are key skills that young people need
  3. Maths and computer science are subjects where more can be done to give young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to use these skills.

There is a growing consensus that creativity and problem solving skills will be vital in ensuring young people from all backgrounds are well-prepared for life and work in the 21st century. This is reflected in the recent Durham Commission report that makes the case for more support and funding for creativity in education, including for the digital creative skills that employers need. In addition, research by Nesta on collaborative problem solving has made the case for greater focus and more resources towards problem solving in maths lessons.

Many countries are finding innovative ways to give young people opportunities to use skills like creativity and problem solving, supporting teachers to test out new methods, build rigorous assessment tools and embed such work in the curriculum. We are concerned that the UK, particularly the English, education system is falling behind other systems in this respect and young people have limited opportunities to apply their learning from academic subjects to develop skills and tackle real-world issues.

Giving young people the opportunity to use these skills not only helps us to develop a broader education system, but a fairer one too. We believe that by encouraging diverse learning experiences which give young people the opportunity to apply their academic knowledge and be creative and solve problems, we can encourage a more diverse range of students to take maths and particularly computer science. This is absolutely vital, particularly in computer science, where recent analysis by Nesta shows an alarming lack of female representation at GCSE and A Level, which has barely improved over recent years in contrast to other STEM subjects.

How do I apply to be a Classroom Changemaker?

Submit a short application form answering three main questions about your idea, its impact on students and your inspiration behind it here by 9am on the 2nd March 2020.

How to take part in Classroom Changemakers

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Author

Theo Knott

Theo Knott

Theo Knott

Programme Manager, Education

Theo manages the fairer strand of Nesta's Education work.

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Kate Bower

Kate Bower

Kate Bower

Assistant Programme Manager, Education

Kate works on the Maths Mission programme series of projects that run in partnership between Nesta and Tata.

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