Marj Brown

Teacher coach, researcher, Jakes Gerwel Fellowship

About Marj Brown

Marj Brown is a social and educational activist, and currently works as a teacher coach and mentor researcher for the Jakes Gerwel Fellowship.  Shehas worked as an online teacher and in the classroom for over 25 years in  South Africa. She encourages learners to engage actively with current affairs and incorporates her own anti-apartheid activism, having been a member of Black Sash and TRAC in the 1980s, fighting forced removals. She worked in the UK for two years. She is the President of the SASHT – the SA Society for History Teaching and involved in Asinakuthula, a women’s history collective. She is also on the steering committee of REWIND, which aims to forge a global alliance of History teachers to foster critical thinking, justice and democracy in the classroom.

 Marj has in her teaching tackled the issue of ensuring all pupils feel an equal sense of belonging in the school, overcoming racial, gender, class and sexual prejudices. She sat on the Roedean Girls Leadership Summit committee for two years. During Covid in 2020, Marj spoke on several international and national webinars about teaching in a time of COVID-19, incorporating issues such as mental health, access to data, inequity in our society and mentoring new teachers.

Marj involved her pupils – as well as others from under-resourced partner schools – in the Model United Nations Debate and helped coordinate Roedean’s social responsibility projects. She is an accredited UNESCO Teach SDGs Ambassador, and part of the Jane Goodall Innovation Education project on teaching SDGs to rural communities across Africa. She is also a Climate Action Project Ambassador and facilitator fighting Climate Change internationally.

Marj is founder and coordinator of the Phendulani literacy quiz, reaching about 150 schools nationwide that do not have libraries. She also brought the international  Kids Lit Quiz to SA, for well-resourced primary schools, and is the SA coordinator.

She is a recipient of Round Square’s King Constantine medal for community service and in 2018, she was a Top Ten Global Teachers' finalist in the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Award.

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