Douglas Walker wins prestigious award

The Prime Minister’s ‘Science Teacher Prize’

By Jenny Ridge 2min read

Homerton alumnus, Douglas Walker has been Head of Science at St Patrick’s College, Wellington since 2013. He has been announced as the 2022 winner of the Prime Minister’s ‘Science Teacher Prize’. He won the award for building a large online following of students for his explosive experiments and exam paper tutorials and establishing a network of teachers providing online classes.

Douglas Walker wins prestigious award

Doug is fascinated by all disciplines of Science and enjoys ‘playing’ to gain a better understanding of phenomena. Although a biology teacher by degree, because of demand he is one of the growing number of non-specialist Physics teachers in New Zealand and Physics has become one of Doug’s passions. Although Doug will be the first to mention that he actually didn’t pass physics as a student!

Doug graduated with a BSc in Biology with first class honours at the University of Paisley, Scotland before going on to do a PGCE at Homerton and then a Masters of Education, graduating in 2008.

In thanking those involved in his education, Doug says:

“I've always been grateful for your amazing work as mentors and leaders at the Faculty of Education, and often speak about how lucky I feel to have learned from you all. Recently I was honoured with an award and had the opportunity to thank you publicly. I would feel remiss if I didn't acknowledge, with you directly, the huge influence you had in laying the foundations of my teaching.

Elaine Wilson was Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education until September 2022 and is now Emeritus Fellow of Homerton College. Doug thanks her by saying:

“Your humour and patience are exemplary. I thoroughly enjoyed the PGCE and MEd programme, due in a large part to your calm advice and the opportunities you organised for us.”

Doug also remembers his teachers’ enthusiasm and the fun practical sessions they put on, which have stayed with him throughout his career and can now be seen in his own lessons.

He says:

“Thank you for all the fun practical suggestions you shared with us, these have been a core part of my repertoire ever since we stuffed marshmallows into a bottle back at Homerton, and I've been producing videos of practical ideas and activities for the New Zealand Institute of Physics (NZIP) for the past couple of years. Since our PGCE I've been fortunate to work every year with student teachers, and have been invited to work on our ITE taskforce. I hope to ensure more trainee teachers in NZ get the wealth of experiences our cohort did.”