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Woman Educator Receives Nation’s Top Three Education Prizes


Dr. Sharon Lynn Kagan, Associate Dean for Policy and Research at Teachers College, Columbia University, is this year’s recipient of the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education.

This prestigious award is presented to leaders in education, policy, and culture, in recognition of their outstanding contributions to their respective fields and to society as a whole. The other two recipients this year are Barbara Bowman, Co-Founder of the Erikson Institute and Ellen Moir, Executive Director of the New Teacher Center, University Of California, Santa Cruz.

Kagan is the Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy at Teachers College, where she co-directs the National Center for Children and Families, and an adjunct professor at the Child Study Center at Yale.

Her ground-breaking work in the field of early care and education has been recognized nationally and internationally; in the past year, was awarded the James Bryant Conant Award by the Education Commission of the States and the Distinguished Service Award by the Council of Chief State School Officers. She joins a very select number of educators who have received these three national honors, among the highest recognitions in education. 

Kagan is the first woman to receive all three; past recipients include former U.S. Secretary of Education Terrel Bell, former U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell, and Theodore Sizer, Chairman Emeritus of the Coalition of Essential Schools and professor of education at Brown University.

Kagan is a frequent consultant to the White House, Congress, the National Governor’s Association, the U.S. Department of Education and Health and Human Services, and numerous states, foundations, corporations and professional associations. She currently serves on over 40 national boards or panels, and is the past-President of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and past Co-Chair of the National Education Goals Panel on Goal One. 

Additionally, she is a prolific author, having written over 200 publications including the authorship or editorship of 12 volumes and the guest editorship of numerous journals.

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