Winning fellowship a surprise

 King's High School mathematics teacher Marek Brewster has won a 2019 Woolf Fisher Fellowship to...
King's High School mathematics teacher Marek Brewster has won a 2019 Woolf Fisher Fellowship to study overseas. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
When Marek Brewster found out he had been awarded a Woolf Fisher Fellowship, there was confusion at first, followed by a feeling of "inadequacy and humility".

The 30-year-old King's High School mathematics teacher said it came as a complete surprise because he was nominated by someone at the school, and whoever it was, had not yet identified themselves.

"When I found out, I didn't actually know what it was.

"A letter just appeared and said I had won a fellowship.

"But when people were telling me about it, I began to realise it was relatively prestigious.

"It's only just started to dawn on me."

Mr Brewster is among about 15 people nationwide, and the only person in Otago and Southland, to receive the 2019 fellowship.

The fellowships are designed to send leading principals and secondary school teachers overseas to examine different teaching practices, so they can bring back initiatives to introduce to New Zealand schools.

Mr Brewster hoped to use the fellowship to visit overseas schools which have managed to raise the level of pupil achievement by changing their culture, rather than throwing more money and resources at their education programmes.

"I think it would be interesting to see how they've managed to overcome their challenges in all subjects, not just maths.

"I'm really interested in developing a culture [of achievement]."

He plans to travel overseas on the fellowship later next year.

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