Carol Dweck and Vicky Colbert win largest education prize

Inaugural Yidan Prize Award was presented to Carol Dweck and Vicky Colbert for their outstanding contribution to education

The world’s largest education prize, the inaugural Yidan Prize, has awarded Carol S. Dweck and Vicky Colbert with HK$30 million (about US$3.87 million). This recognises their contributions to global education and the prize will help to fund their future work.

The Yidan Prize Award Presentation Ceremony was held at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and they received their award and a gold medal from The Honorable Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Carol S. Dweck, Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, has received the Yidan Prize for Education Research. Her groundbreaking research on the power of the ‘growth mindset’, based upon the belief that intelligence is not fixed and can be developed over time, has become an influential concept in the field of education.

“It is a great honor to receive the Yidan Prize for Educational Research and I accept it on behalf of my extraordinary students and colleagues,” said Carol. “It is their work as much as mine. It is critical for educators to know that we cannot nourish the mind without the heart. We cannot expect good learning—joyful and effective learning—to happen in a mind that is disconnected from the heart. And we cannot expect our students to create the world of tomorrow, the world that we hope for, without a heart-mind that connects them to each other, to the larger society, and to the planet as a whole.”

Yidan Prize aims to empower educators to transcend religion, race and nationality; to exert far-reaching, positive influence over humanity; and ultimately, to help create a better world

Vicky Colbert, Founder and Director of Fundación Escuela Nueva, Colombia, was awarded the Yidan Prize for Education Development. Her project, Escuela Nueva, has improved the quality of education at rural public schools in Colombia since the mid-1970s. The pedagogical model has also been adopted by 14 countries, reaching over 5 million children.

“I am honored and deeply moved to receive this prestigious education Yidan Prize for Education Development,” said Vicky. “The recognition that we receive through this prestigious award is a further motivation to continue our commitment to the cause of basic education of high quality for all children. At Escuela Nueva Foundation, in Colombia and many other countries of the world we work to establish affordable schools of excellent quality where children, teachers and parents are empowered to learn and contribute to a culture of peace and citizenship in their environment.”

The event was attended by prominent figures including H.E. Dr Ahmed Al-Eissa, Minister of Education, Saudi Arabia; Cherie Blair, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women; Jaime Saavedra, Senior Director, Education, World Bank Group; and among others.

Dr Charles Chen Yidan, Founder of the Yidan Prize, said, “Yidan Prize aims to empower educators to transcend religion, race and nationality; to exert far-reaching, positive influence over humanity; and ultimately, to help create a better world. I hope that their practical experience and research findings can be applied more extensively, expanding their impact, and benefiting more people.”

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