The last two years have been an exciting journey for me, which culminated on December 10-11 2017. It was the date when the very first Yidan Prize Inaugural Award Ceremony and Summit took place in Hong Kong.
We established the Yidan Prize in 2016 to reward innovative educators through a HK3.9 million) cash prize to recognize individual’s contribution and accelerateand magnify a project’s impact. Our prize is designed to transcend religion, race and nationality and give recognition to individuals with outstanding accomplishments in education research and development. This year, we showcased the work of two of our inaugural laureates – Professor Carol S. Dweck of Stanford University and Ms Vicky Colbert, founder and director of Fundación Escuela Nueva in Colombia.
It is people like Prof. Dweck and Ms Colbert that inspire me every day. Prof Dweck, a trailblazing psychologist, scientist and a global authority on achievement motivation, has demonstrated that a focus on process, rather than outcome, can have a tremendous impact on students’ prospects of achieving their full potential. Professor Dweck and her colleagues have developed techniques that alter mindsets and enhance intelligence, including “growth mindset intervention” where students’ performance has seen marked improvement.
Ms Vicky Colbert’s student-centered Escuela Nueva model has laiddown a systemic approach that empowers both teachers and students by transforming the learning process and nurturing a collaborative and participatory spirit. For over 40 years, Ms Colbert’s relentless dedication has brought profound and lasting impact on improving the quality of rural education across 14 countries in the developing world, touching the lives of over 5 million children.
As exemplary as their work is, our goal is not only to recognize achievements, but also to inspire future thinkers and doers in the world. That is why we have established the Worldwide Educating for the Future Index – the first holistic study to measure input environments, e.g. policy, teaching and sociology-economic on how 35 economies are preparing their students for the future and generate thought leadership to advocate on preparedness of 21st century skills.
It is our hope that the Yidan Foundation will help transform global education by empowering change makers in education, building a community of education leaders and ultimately,creating long-lasting, enlightening impacts on humankind as a whole.
I end the year hopeful, contemplating on the wonderful work that people like Prof. Dweck and Ms Colbert are doing each day and feel touched when both laureates announced at the Yidan Prize Summit to contribute all the prize awards to expand their projects. Even more, they announced that Yidan Prize brought them together and they are determined to collaborate to unleash the potentials of our future generations. It is the beauty of Yidan Prize that plays in keeping the light that education brings around the world aglow for the betterment of humanity.