The Minister of Education has recognized Lorella Carimali, 55 from Milan, as one of the ten best Italian teachers for her approach and success with students who had previously struggled with math. Following this success, she has made it among the 50 best teachers in the world from which the Varkey Foundation will choose the winner of the 2018 Global Teacher Prize.

The Varkey Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established with the main objective to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children throughout the world. Moreover, in order to underline the importance of educators and the fact that, throughout the world, their efforts deserve to be recognized and celebrated, it has established the Global Teacher Prize, which consists in a US $1 million award (to be spent on educational projects) presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.

Carimali, who teaches math in a Scientific State High School in her hometown, chose to teach rather than take her talents into business so that she could transmit her passion combining her social commitment with her innovative teaching approach. Her successful learning model, that she calls ‘cognitive internship’, uses drama activities and problem-solving exercises to teach how to think mathematically, intuitively and creatively while theorizing and evaluating. When asked if she was shocked, Carimali said: “Incredulous and happy. I feel the symbol of an upwards social mobility, which came to be through math, a way of training abstract thinking and understanding the world.” Her parents completed only their fifth grade and they could not help her to study, for this reason her graduation was so important to them. “We lived in a popular neighborhood, railing houses in the Stadera neighborhood, – she continued – the bathroom was on the balcony and we shared it with other families. We all knew each other, and there I understood that you can not win alone, the future is built together with the others. And this is my attitude towards the world.”

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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