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Citation for Carol S. Dweck, Yidan Prize for Education Research Inaugural Laureate
2017.12.10

Citation for Carol S. Dweck, Yidan Prize for Education Research Inaugural Laureate

Speech by Prof. Paul Chu Ching-wu
Panel Head, Judging Panel for Education Research, Yidan Prize


The Honorable Mrs Carrie Lam, Your Excellency, esteemed Yidan Prize Laureates, our distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Professor Carol S. Dweck is a distinguished psychologist whose stellar academic success in her decades of research on the nature of intelligence is surpassed only by the original and scalable interventions she developed with remarkable improvements in learning outcomes.

The discovery of how underlying beliefs about intelligence affect learning motivation has transformed the way we understand students’ abilities and the continuous developmental potential of our brains. By distinguishing what have now become widely known as the two mindsets that shape our lives - the “fixed mindset” and the “growth mindset” - Professor Dweck demonstrated that our belief in the malleability of intelligence can dramatically improve students’ performance. We now know that a student’s implicit beliefs about their potential have profound implications for how hard they work, especially in the face of challenge, and that a focus on effort and process cultivates a love for learning that is essential for great accomplishments.

What is remarkable about Professor Dweck’s work is the scientifically demonstrable ability to explain and predict behavior, and the consistently validated results of pragmatic mindset interventions in different school and work settings. 

Her commitment to scientific rigor and quality for over 35 years is impressive and humbling. With the award of the Yidan Prize, we hope to contribute to raising awareness and implementation of the “growth mindset” intervention across the world, expanding its application and implementation in schools across demographic strata, and enabling educators everywhere to adopt methods that nurture growth, confidence and resilience in our younger generations.

The judging panel sees the generative potential of Professor Dweck’s work extending far beyond students in formal schooling.  As the definition of education morphs along with the fast-changing socio-economic paradigm, the “growth-mindset” offers an achievable aspiration for all of us to develop new skillsets that are fundamental to thriving in the digitalized, automated world. Professor Dweck has shown humanity our shared potential and a proven methodology for growing intellectually and adapting to a future that we have yet to envisage.

I invite you to join me in applauding Professor Dweck’s life long dedication and her team’s relentless effort to transform the way we teach and learn.

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