APS James McKeen Cattell Fellow Carol Dweck has been named a recipient of the inaugural Yidan Prize, which recognizes her influential scientific work exploring mindsets and their impact on student achievement. Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, was selected as one of the first recipients of the award, the largest international prize in education research and development.
“I’m thrilled and honored to be the inaugural recipient of this amazing prize,” Dweck said in a statement. “It will allow us to take our work forward and continue to innovate – to develop even more effective interventions for students and more effective materials for teachers to use in classrooms. I couldn’t be more excited.”
Dweck’s work spans the fields of developmental, social, and personality psychology and has contributed to a shift in how psychological science approaches the study of learning and academic success. Her empirical research on the growth mindset has shown that thinking about learning (and other efforts) as a work in progress, rather than the result of a fixed attribute like intelligence, can significantly enhance a person’s ability to master new skills.
Growth mindset research is currently being used to develop more effective education interventions that help improve students’ academic outcomes. The National Science Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation have also invested in further research in this field.
This framework has also been applied both in and outside the classroom to address issues of willpower, racial prejudice, gender gaps, adolescent aggression, and even conflict resolution in the Middle East. Dweck has also written several books on the subject, including Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, which aims to make mindset research accessible to a general audience. In addition to being named a Cattel Fellow, APS’s highest honor, she has been elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences, and has received the Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences from the National Academy of Sciences, among other honors.
The Yidan Prize, founded by Chinese philanthropist Charles Chen Yidan, includes a $1.9 million cash prize in addition to $1.9 million in funding toward Dweck’s future education initiatives. Dweck will also receive a gold medal alongside recipient Vicky Colbert, founder of Fundacion Escuela Nueva in Colombia, in an official ceremony in Hong Kong this December.
“To witness the level of innovation and dedication shown by the inaugural laureates in their work and the breadth and depth of the impact they have made is humbling,” said Yidan in a statement announcing the recipients. “The Yidan Prize was founded to shine a light on education that is transformative, sustainable and addresses the world’s needs as we look to the future.”