Michelene Chi awarded the 2020 McGraw Prize in Learning Science Research


Erik Ketcherside

Michelene Chi has been awarded the 2020 McGraw Prize in Learning Science Research. Created in 1988, the McGraw Prize celebrates innovation in education by recognizing outstanding individuals who have dedicated themselves to improving education and whose accomplishments are making a huge impact. The other 2020 winners are Estela Bensimon, Dean’s Professor in Educational Equity at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education; and Joseph Krajcik, Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education at Michigan State University.

“Micki” Chi is a Regents Professor and the Dorothy Bray Professor of Science and Teaching at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, where she has been a faculty member since 2008. She also directs the Learning and Cognition Lab in ASU’s Institute for the Science of Teaching and Learning.

The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, home to the McGraw prize, made the announcement, calling Chi a global leader in cognitive and learning science research. “Chi has made numerous advances to our understanding of how students learn, particularly in STEM domains,” the award committee said. They highlighted her work creating “... a powerful framework (ICAP) of active learning, developing an understanding of the power of self-explanation as a key way to learn, evolving our knowledge of how experts and nonexperts think, and influencing how we think about learning in more interactive settings.”

Her work with ICAP was also recognized in 2016 by the American Educational Research Association when she received AERA’s Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education. That same year, Chi was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2018 she won the 19th David E. Rumelhart Prize in Cognitive Science, the first time the award was given to a researcher in the cognitive science of education. Chi was elected to the National Academy of Education in 2010.

Chi’s current research projects include creating a professional development module for teachers to create lesson activities that promote greater and deeper learning; addressing misconceptions that arise out of teaching certain processes in science by following a sequential order as opposed to an emergent one; and examining the benefit of incorporating tutorial dialogues in online videos, compared to didactic lecture-type monologues.

You’re invited to attend the Wednesday, Oct. 21 virtual award ceremony and hear Michelene Chi’s acceptance speech. Streaming begins at 4 p.m. Eastern Time, 1 p.m. Pacific.