The Yidan Prize Foundation, the global philanthropic foundation behind the world’s highest education accolade, hosted the 2022 Yidan Prize Summit yesterday.
Teachers are facing more—and more complex—challenges than ever before. The United Nations called on us all to better support teachers at the Transforming Education Summit (TES) in September. This year’s Yidan Prize Summit brought together leading lights in education, policy, and philanthropy to discuss what it means to be a teacher today—and tomorrow.
In a series of panels, speakers discussed impactful ways to support educator development and empowerment, the importance of building connections between education policy and practice, innovations in STEM teaching and learning, and how collaboration can drive change in the classroom.
Dr Charles CHEN Yidan, Founder of the Yidan Prize, said, “Education is an ecosystem. For this ecosystem to thrive, it must provide the conditions that recognize and support the essential work of educators and enable their success.”
Dr Linda Darling-Hammond, the 2022 Yidan Prize for Education Research Laureate, was joined by education experts to discuss challenges and opportunities that have arisen in education during the pandemic. She highlighted the teacher preparation programs that have successfully prepared teachers for a changing world, drawing on examples from education systems in China, New Zealand, Singapore and the US. Panelists also discussed the importance of building connections between research, practice, and policy.
In the second panel, 2020 Yidan Prize for Education Research Laureate and Founder of PhET Interactive Simulations, Professor Carl Wieman, was joined by Dr Kathy Perkins, Director of PhET Interactive Simulations, and Zachariah Mbasu, Africa PhET Ambassador. They discussed how innovations such as PhET’s interactive math and science simulations can be powerful tools in the classroom by removing barriers and giving learners a more active role in the learning process. They also talked about how programs such as the PhET Fellowship are helping to accelerate the adoption of engaging and research-based teaching and learning practices in STEM education.
In another panel, Professor Yongxin Zhu, the 2022 Yidan Prize for Education Development Laureate, shared powerful examples of teacher motivation and professional development practices, drawing on over 20 years’ experience at the New Education Initiative in China. Panelists shared strategies for building strong peer networks, which connect and empower teachers to learn from one another. They also talked about how online learning hubs have transformed and scaled teachers’ learning opportunities online—all the more important in the context of the pandemic and beyond.
The summit also explored the evolving role of philanthropy. Representatives from The D. H. Chen Foundation and Bei Shan Tang Foundation highlighted the importance of collaborating with education stakeholders to support local teacher professional development. Teachers from a number of Hong Kong schools also shared examples of pilot programs that are proactively preparing educators to nurture future-ready students.
Awarding the 2022 Yidan Prize Laureates
On 4 December, Dr Linda Darling-Hammond and Professor Yongxin Zhu were formally awarded the 2022 Yidan Prize for Education Research and the 2022 Yidan Prize for Education Development respectively for their extraordinary work in empowering our teachers and youth with the skills needed to thrive in the 21st century. They join the Yidan Prize Foundation’s global community of education changemakers and the Yidan Council of Luminaries.
Nominations for the 2023 Yidan Prize are open
Nominations for the 2023 Yidan Prize are now open and will close on 31 March 2023. The Yidan Prize Foundation will host a webinar on 18 January 2023 to share more information about the prize, how to enter, and what judges look for in a laureate.
To learn more about making a Yidan Prize nomination, visit the Yidan Prize Foundation website: https://yidanprize.org/the-prize/nominations/