Krajcik wins McGraw Prize in Education

September 22, 2020

UPDATE 2/3/21: In addition to the McGraw Prize (see below), in January 2021, it was announced Krajcik will receive the prestigious Prize for Excellence in Educational Design from the International Society for Design and Development in Education (ISDDE). The recognition, which comes with $5,000, is awarded to a person, group or product for outstanding design for education in mathematics, science or technology.

Krajcik was nominated and selected for the award by educators around the world for his global impact in supporting STEM learners. The award celebrates his “design of science curricula, pedagogical approaches, such as project-based learning, new type of activities and assessment methods. Science teachers all over the world have implemented these designs in their science classes and improved the learning outcomes and level of students’ engagement in science learning,” ISDDE wrote on their website.

Krajcik will be honored at ISDDE’s virtual, international conference in March.

Michigan State University Professor Joseph Krajcik has received a 2020 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education for his global impact on science teaching.

Krajcik, a Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education and director of the CREATE for STEM Institute, has partnered with science teachers around the world to reform student engagement through the design, development and testing of project-based learning environments. Krajcik’s McGraw prize recognizes achievement in pre-K-12 education.

Joseph Krajcik headshot

He will be honored during a virtual awards celebration at 4 p.m. Oct. 21. Registration is open to the public.

“I am honored to receive the McGraw Prize for innovation in education,” Krajcik said. “Throughout my professional life, I have been driven by a passion to work with teachers and other educators to create and explore learning environments that engage all children. I’m dedicated to helping ignite the joy and desire to learn in students in order for all of us to live in a knowledgeable, just and sustainable world.”

Robert E. Floden, dean and University Distinguished Professor in the College of Education, said Krajcik is an international leader in working with scientists, teachers and scholars, to produce “effective curriculum materials being adopted by school districts around the country.”

Krajcik served as a lead writer of both the National Academies of Science Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards. These standards have globally transformed the teaching of science. 

The CREATE for STEM Institute, which Krajcik directs, is a collaboration between the MSU College of Natural Science and the College of Education that seeks to improve teaching and learning of science and mathematics through innovation and research.

Other 2020 winners include Estela Mara Bensimon, professor of educational equity at the University of Southern California, and Michelene Chi, professor of science and teaching at Arizona State University. Each award winner will receive a $50,000 award and a prize sculpture.

“This year’s prize winners are outstanding leaders who have devoted their careers to closing gaps and accelerating educational opportunity to all students,” said Harold McGraw III, former chairman, CEO and president of The McGraw Hill Companies. “Dr. Krajcik’s innovations to improve science education represent profound and lasting achievements.”

Since 1988, the McGraw Prize has celebrated innovation in education by recognizing outstanding individuals who have dedicated themselves to improving education and whose accomplishments are making a huge impact.

The Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education nominees are selected through a public nomination process, with winners chosen over three rounds of judging and ultimately by an independent panel of judges who are leaders in their fields. Recent winners include Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code; Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade Public Schools; and Sal Kahn, founder of Khan Academy.