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Askwith Essentials: Realizing Human Potential Through Education

On Monday, February 5, Askwith Forums welcomes the inaugural recipients of the Yidan Prize, Carol Dweck and Vicky Colbert.

Live streaming of this event will begin on February 5 at 5 p.m.

What is the Yidan Prize?

The Yidan Prize:

Inaugural Laurates, 2017:

Carol S. Dweck, Yidan Prize for Education Research Laureate

  • Psychologist and Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University
  • Her research focuses on mindset, the underlying beliefs that people hold about their own intelligence and learning capabilities. She coined the terms fixed mindset – the belief that one’s intelligence and talent are static traits – and growth mindset – the understanding that with effort one’s intelligence and talent can be developed and, therefore, lead to better outcomes.
  • These principles, popularized in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, have been widely applied to great effect in education, informing how teachers help their students to learn.
  • In a 2014 TEDTalk, Dweck talks about the danger of overpraising kids for what they are, rather than what they do. She says parents and teachers should “praise wisely. … Praise the process kids engage in: their effort, their strategies, their focus, their perseverance, their improvements. This process praise creates kids who are hearty and resilient.”
  • In a 2015 Education Week article, she reiterated the goals behind her theory, writing, “It is about telling the truth about a student’s current achievement and then, together, doing something about it, helping him or her become smarter.”

Vicky Colbert, Yidan Prize for Education Development Laureate

  • Executive director of the Escuela Nueva Foundation and former vice-minister of education in Colombia
  • She is a key figure in the movement toward Escuela Nueva, a “new” model for primary education begun in Colombia in 1975 that emphasizes students’ independent and active learning, rather than rote memorization, as they move toward understanding of concepts. It also encourages the development of interpersonal skills through discussion with small groups of peers as students help guide each other toward mastery of subjects that are relevant to their daily lives. The teacher’s role in Escuela Nueva is as facilitator; she will offer guidance and support, but not lecture or require specific ways of learning.
  • The model was developed for rural schools because Colbert and her cofounders recognized that children in these communities have unique circumstances surrounding their schooling, such as the need to leave school during harvest season to work the family farm or single-classroom schools that serve many grade levels at once.
  • Now in 20,000 schools in 19 countries, including Brazil and the Philippines, Escuela Nueva became national policy in Colombia in the late 1980s. The policy has had significant impact in Colombia with higher rates of attendance, lower teacher turnover, and improved student achievement.
  • In 2016, Colbert spoke to NPR’s “Morning Edition” about what drove her to establish Escuela Nueva."I was totally aware that if we don't have quality basic education, nothing will be achieved in any country in the world," she said. "You won't have social development, economic development, peace, democracy. It's the only way."

Event Details:

Monday, February 5. 5 p.m.
Askwith Hall, Longfellow Hall
13 Appian Way
Cambridge, MA 02138