A Flinders alumnus has won the highly prestigious 2014 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools.
Brian Schiller, who teaches at Seacliff Primary school, received his award, and a $50,000 prize, which is shared with his school, from Prime Minister Tony Abbott at a dinner in the Great Hall of Parliament House last night.
Mr Schiller, who received a Diploma of Teaching (Primary) from Flinders in 1986, is known for his innovative lessons, which blend play, science and languages.
Speaking from Canberra, he paid tribute to those who had helped him win the award.
“I feel that this award isn’t just recognition for me but also for all of the people who work with me,” Mr Schiller said.
“This includes my Principal, Greg Miller, Deputy Principal, Scott Francis, parents, students, staff and scientists, who all come together to make my teaching program effective.
“I also have had a lot of support from Japanese educators who have worked on my Japanese in science program, and volunteers and professionals from the local Indigenous community.”
Professor Richard Maltby, Executive Dean, Faculty of Education, Humanities and Law at Flinders University, said the award was a fitting recognition of Mr Schiller’s dedication to teaching.
Professor Maltby said the University had maintained strong links with Mr Schiller, including sending Flinders students to Seacliffe Primary School for practical training for many years.
“This is a fantastic and well deserved achievement for Brian,” Professor Maltby said. “He and Seacliffe Primary have hosted final year Flinders students for seven years, providing invaluable, real-world teaching experience.
“All of his friends and associates at Flinders are very excited for him.”
Robyn Aitken, President of the Australian Science Teachers Association said Mr Schiller’s passion and enthusiasm for science was “outstanding”.
The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science are the nation’s highest awards for excellence in science and science teaching.