About the Brock Prize

“The most important thing we do in this life is to educate our children.” John Brock

Why the Brock Prize in Education Innovation?

The Brock Prize in Education Innovation is built upon the belief that the most important thing we do in life is to educate the next generation. Our mission is to reward IDEAS PROVEN TO ENHANCE EDUCATION. We value ideas with GLOBAL IMPACT, UNIVERSAL ACCESSIBILITY, and A PROVEN TRACK RECORD. We want to change the world. We want to enhance peace and prosperity. Education is an instrumental means to bring change.

What is the Brock International Prize in Education?

The prize itself is awarded each year at a public ceremony during the Brock Prize Symposium and consists of $40,000, a vellum certificate, and a bust of Sequoyah. The prize rewards an idea, not a person.

How Do We Make the Ideas Available to the World?

There are two strategic ways that we make the ideas available to the world: through our annual Brock Prize Symposium and through our Best Ideas Network (BIN).

The Brock Prize Symposium is an annual event open to the public. During the Symposium, the Brock laureate receives the prize and delivers a keynote address and explains the idea/innovation that earned the award. The Symposium “shines a light” on ideas in education to encourage the use of those ideas. The Brock Prize Symposium invites teachers, principals, university faculty and administrators, education executives, students, state politicians and the general public to attend. The event is also broadcast live, and all content is made available online following the event.

The Best Ideas Network (BIN) is a website and online community that facilitates the discovery and sharing of the best innovations in education. Resources on the site include blogs, videos, podcasts, and resource listings, and represent the “best-of-the-best” from thought leaders and innovators around the world. Also featured on the site are nomination portfolios for each year’s Brock Prize nominees.

How is the Prize Recipient Determined?

A jury of nine members, annually selected by the chair of the executive committee, selects the laureate of the Brock Prize in Education Innovation. Jurors include educators, university officers, professors, business and government officials, and others committed to excellence in education.

Each juror nominates one candidate and submits a brief statement on the idea of his or her nominee. During the deliberation process, each juror makes a 30-minute oral presentation in support of the idea of his or her nominee. Discussion and elimination voting follow until the laureate is selected.

What Makes this Prize Significant?

Where once education was a benefit of a privileged few, it has become imperative as a means to compete in a global marketplace. To be uneducated significantly diminishes one’s chances of success in life. Given an environment in which so much is at stake, it is important to recognize the “best innovations in education” and expand their impact. The Prize is awarded for an idea, not to recognize an exemplary career, meritorious teaching or service with primary local impact.

How is the Brock Prize Administered?

The Brock Prize executive committee supervises the administration of the Prize. The committee includes executive officers from Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Tulsa, and the John and Donnie Brock Foundation. The chair of the executive committee and administrator of the prize is Dr. Ed Harris, professor and Williams Chair of Educational Leadership at Oklahoma State University.

For Whom is the Brock Prize Named?

John Brock and his late wife, Donnie, are Oklahoma natives. John is chairman of the board of Medallion Petroleum, Inc. He served as an artillery officer in the Korean War, serves on several boards of directors, and is a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Donnie was an elementary school teacher in Oklahoma and Texas. The Brocks have been active in many civic organizations and are long-time patrons of the arts.

The Brock Family Community Foundation funds the costs for the awards and expenses of the Brock Prize. The directors of the foundation are Dr. Ed Harris, chairman, R. Blake Atkins, attorney, and Thomas W. Wilkins, president of the Trust Company of Oklahoma. The Trust Company of Oklahoma manages the foundation’s funds.