Inaugural recipients of the Kalman Mathematics Teaching Prize

22 August 2017

Congratulations to Subash Chandar K from Ormiston Senior College and Mala Nataraj from Selwyn College. The two teachers are the 2017 Margaret and John Kalman Charitable Trust Mathematics Teaching Prize recipients – awarded for the first time this year.

The generous $10,000 prize offered by the Margaret and John Kalman Charitable Trust recognises the achievements of Auckland secondary school mathematics and statistics teachers in a given year. John Kalman was a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Auckland from 1964 to 1993, and a leading promoter of mathematics in New Zealand.

Both Subash and Mala are highly respected members of the Auckland Secondary School Mathematics Teaching Community, as well as being University of Auckland alumni. 

Subash graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 2005 and has worked at Ormiston Senior College since 2013. Mala completed her PhD in Mathematics Education at the University of Auckland in 2011 and has been teaching at Selwyn College since 1997.

The Auckland Mathematics Association (AMA), which promoted the award, says applications for the inaugural 2017 Kalman Mathematics Teaching Prize were of an extremely high standard and the selection panel had a difficult job selecting just two teachers to receive prizes of $5,000 each.

One of Subash’s referees describes him as follows: “Subash’s enthusiasm for teaching and learning mathematics in a 21st century flexible learning environment is inspiring. His personalised learning pedagogy includes flipped classrooms as well as learning with digital technologies using a variety of devices and applications. His ground-breaking use of Sphero Robots has had a major impact on engagement and providing authentic learning opportunities for even our most disengaged learners. His dedication to inform his own and others’ practice through teaching as inquiry has lead the way for teachers all over New Zealand.”

One of the criteria the Kalman Teaching Selection Panel were looking for was 'Teaching Excellence – teachers who have demonstrated the integration of research in mathematics education into their classroom practice'.

Of Mala they said: “Mala has demonstrated an ability to integrate research into her classroom practice in a multitude of ways. She has been a regular presenter at Auckland Mathematical Association (AMA) professional development events over a number of years and has also presented at a number of conferences internationally.”

All applicants are to be commended for their dedication to the teaching of mathematics and statistics and for their generosity in sharing their ideas with the wider mathematics community.