Elliot W. Eisner, a professor of education and art at Stanford University, has won the $200,000 Grawemeyer Award in Education, one of the largest in the field.
The prize, awarded last week by the University of Louisville, recognizes Mr. Eisner’s book The Arts and the Creation of Mind, published in 2002 by Yale University Press.
Mr. Eisner argues that including the arts in the curriculum is critically important to the development of thinking skills and a better understanding of the world, the university said in presenting the award Dec. 1. But schools rely heavily on standardized testing, he writes, which leads to uniformity among students while neglecting the concept of developing students to their fullest potential. Art teaches that variability in understanding is a natural consequence of learning, and that not all situations have one right or wrong response, he believes.
A champion of arts education throughout his career, Mr. Eisner is a member of the National Academy of Education and a past president of the Americn Educational Research Association.
H. Charles Grawemeyer, an industrialist, entrepreneur, and investor, established the awards in 1984 to honor ideas, rather than lifetime achievement. In 1989, education was added to the disciplines recognized, which include improving world order, religion, music, and psychology.