Researchers Honored by Yidan and McGraw Prizes

September 2021

Several prominent education researchers received the highest of honors this month with two prestigious awards: the Yidan Prize and the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education. The Yidan Prize for Education Research was awarded to Eric A. Hanushek (Stanford University) and the Yidan Prize for Education Development to Rukmini Banerji (Pratham Education Foundation). The McGraw Prize in Pre-K–12 Education went to Douglas H. Fuchs (Vanderbilt University) and Lynn S. Fuchs (Vanderbilt University); the McGraw Prize in Higher Education was awarded to Richard G. Baraniuk (Rice University); and the McGraw Prize in Learning Science Research was given to AERA Past President Carol D. Lee (Northwestern University). Hanushek, Douglas Fuchs and Lynn Fuchs, and Lee are all AERA fellows and current members.

The Yidan Prize confers only two awards worldwide each year—one in education research and one in education development. The selected laureates are honored for the significance and impact of their research and its future potential. The prize aims to encourage progress in learning by building a global community committed to advancing ideas in education.

In a statement, Yidan Prize Chairman Koichiro Matsuura stated that Hanushek and Banerji are both “tackling a crucial piece of the education puzzle: improving quality of education and outcomes for learners. Eric’s research has shown that above all it is the quality of education that underpins the economic health of their nations. Rukmini has led unprecedented work in understanding why some children aren’t leaving school with essential reading and writing skills.”

The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education recognizes innovators who unleash human potential through technology, methodology, and leadership. Since its creation, nearly 100 remarkable leaders in all fields of education have been recognized and celebrated, many of whom continue to play transformative roles today.

In a press release, Harold McGraw III, president of the McGraw-Hill Companies, stated that “this year’s winners meet the highest standards of excellence, and their contributions highlight the importance of access, fairness and impact in education—essential attributes in the wake of the COVID crisis. We salute these outstanding individuals and educators everywhere.”