Professor Sugata Mitra, computer scientist and educational theorist, has been named the 2022 Brock Prize in Education Innovation Laureate for his transformational work in rethinking the way children learn.
Sugata Mitra is probably best known in the education community for developing the concept of self-organized learning environments (SOLEs) following his “Hole in the Wall” experiments in 1999, where he placed a computer in the wall of an Indian slum and observed that given the right circumstances, children could teach each other almost anything.
He brought these results to England in 2006 and invented self-organized learning environments, now in use throughout the world. Since that time, SOLE has become a part of mainstream education worldwide, increasing opportunities for thousands of people. One specific example is StartSOLE ( https://startsole.org/ ). Inspired by Sugata’s SOLE concept, StartSOLE has established a base of more than 36,000 educators (predominantly K-12) living in more than 110 countries. These educators work with over 2 Million students.
The Brock Prize in Education Innovation, named for Oklahoma natives John and Donnie Brock, is awarded annually and recognizes individuals like Sugata who have made a specific innovation or contribution resulting in a significant impact on the practice or understanding of the field of education. The Prize is about big ideas that make meaningful change in the way people think and act.
“We are honored to highlight Professor Mitra and his work,” said Brock Prize founder, John A. Brock. “We look for the best ideas in education from around the world and Sugata Mitra’s contribution is a shining example of how an idea can transform education on a global scale.”
In reaction to his selection as the 2022 Laureate, Sugata offered the following response. “The best thing I like about the famed Brock Prize, is that it is given to an idea and not to an individual. It is my proud honour to accept this award on behalf of the children who showed me the idea of Self Organized Learning. In Victor Hugo’s words, ‘…the idea – it is everything’.”
Dr. Mitra will showcase his ideas on October 6, 2022 at the annual Brock Prize Symposium, which will be hosted by Oklahoma State University (OSU). The event will take place in-person and will also be streamed live via the internet to a global audience.
Dr. Jon Pedersen, dean of the OSU College of Education and Human Sciences said “the Brock Prize Symposium presents an incredible opportunity to learn from Dr. Mitra’s innovative, inspirational work. We look forward to welcoming him to OSU this fall.”
At the Brock Prize Awards Dinner, which will follow the Symposium, Dr. Mitra will receive a monetary award of $50,000, a vellum certificate denoting the honor, and a sculpture of legendary Native American educator Sequoyah.