Symposium will examine how innovations flourish in education

May 10, 2021
An illustration promoting the How Innovations Flourish symposium, noting the dates June 8-10

After a year interrupted by the pandemic, a year that gave many a clearer picture of just how far we have to go to achieve educational equity, teachers, administrations, and policymakers are asking what comes next.

What emergency practices developed during the pandemic should be refined and brought into our new normal? What outdated but standard practices should we leave behind? How do we get there?

To help answer those questions, the McGraw Prize in Education and Catalyst @ Penn GSE are hosting the How Innovations Flourish symposium, June 8-10. Education leaders and innovators from around the globe will discuss how education innovations arise, the conditions under which they succeed, and their potential to become vehicles for change.

The free, virtual event, co-produced by Ashoka, The Brookings Institution, the Christensen Institute, Teach For All, and the World Bank, will examine what is needed to implement lasting changes in teaching and learning. Sessions will focus on the newest developments in key areas, including the use of artificial intelligence in adaptive learning, designing schools for equity, and the leadership challenges of our current moment. Attendees will have opportunities to interact in groups and one-on-one.

“Innovation happens through collaboration,” said Catalyst @ Penn GSE Executive Director Michael Golden. “We saw a rare opportunity to gather leaders working in different ways and different areas with a shared goal—transforming education to make it more effective and more equitable.”

The symposium will feature many winners of the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education, including 2020 winner Michelene Chi and previous winners including, Alberto Carvalho, Wendy Kopp, Larry Rosenstock, Andreas Schleicher, Julie Young, and more. One of the most prestigious prizes in the field, the McGraw Prize recognizes outstanding achievement in pre-K-12 education, higher education, and learning science research.

“McGraw Prize winners have developed some of the most significant advancements to improve learning for students of every age,” said Harold McGraw III, former Chairman, President, and CEO of the McGraw-Hill Companies. “We hope these conversations will inspire a wave of new ideas that can improve education around the globe.”

Penn GSE experts including Ryan Baker, Ed Brockenbrough, Amalia Dache, John Gamba, and Daniel Wagner along with Catalyst’s Golden will help lead sessions. Penn GSE Dean Pam Grossman and Erika James, Dean of the Wharton School, will also have a conversation about leading through crisis.