Dr. Sanjeev Arora, founder of Project ECHO, has been named the 2021 Laureate for the Brock Prize in Education Innovation. Project ECHO is a revolutionary guided-practice instructional and telementoring model that provides professional development opportunities to underserved and remote areas of the state, nation, and world. ECHO programs amplify the capacity for participants to deliver best-in-practice services in their own communities to the people who need them most.
The ECHO model was originally established 17 years ago for health care practitioners, but its use has expanded to education and other sectors. Twenty-one ECHO partners in three countries operate over 25 Education ECHO programs to improve educator training. More recently, Education ECHO is bringing critical support to teachers and school administrators during the COVID-19 pandemic on best practices for virtual education. Project ECHO uses modern, accessible, and free distance communication technology and creatively combines some of the best educational theories and practices, including peer learning, mentor teaching, communities of practice, and project-based learning. Through Dr. Arora’s leadership and vision, Project ECHO has served over 200 countries and has had almost 1,350,000 training contacts with participants across the world. More than 280 peer-reviewed publications have examined the impact of the ECHO model.
The Brock Prize, currently in its 20th year, has been awarded to many giants in education whose ideas have transformed the landscape of modern education. It is the chief objective of the Prize to highlight these ideas to the broader community, and in doing so, magnify the impact they can have around the world.
“We are extremely honored that Dr. Sanjeev Arora is our 2021 Laureate,” said Brock Prize founder, John A. Brock. “His work is a unique innovation for education, which is exactly what the Prize is about. It is an innovation that improves society and individual lives.”
In reaction to his selection as the 2021 Laureate, Dr. Arora offered the following response.
“On behalf of my team, I want to thank the Brock selection committee for this amazing honor. As successful as ECHO has been in the medical field, I’m confident that using ECHO to support school teachers, counselors, and administrators in rural and underserved areas will be even more impactful,” said Dr. Sanjeev Arora, Director and Founder of Project ECHO. “Our goal is to change how teachers and staff in schools are supported and ensure that after they are trained they have an ongoing support community and mentorship to help them and their students succeed.”
Dr. Arora will present his Project ECHO innovation on September 7, 2021 at the annual Brock Prize Symposium, which will be hosted by the University of Tulsa. At the Brock Prize Awards Dinner, which will follow the Symposium, he will receive a monetary award of $50,000, a vellum certificate denoting the honor, and a sculpture of legendary Native American educator Sequoyah.