Morton wins Grawemeyer Award in Education

Jennifer Morton, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, has been selected as the winner of the 2022 Grawemeyer Award in Education.

Professor Morton was recognized for the ideas put forward in her 2019 book, Moving Up without Losing Your Way: The Ethical Costs of Upward Mobility (Princeton University Press).

The Grawemeyer Awards, administered by the University of Louisville, “pays tribute to the power of creative ideas, emphasizing the impact a single idea can have on the world.” Bestowed in several fields, each award includes a prize of $100,000.

From the award announcement:

The dream of achieving success by attending college is deeply flawed for some, says Morton, a first-generation college student who left Peru to attend Princeton. Drawing on her own experience, philosophical and social science research and interviews with first-generation, low-income and immigrant students, she found the college experience often forces students to turn away from family and friends to achieve academic success. For example, one student caring for an ill sister told Morton she had missed so many classes and assignment due dates she wasn’t sure she could catch up. Another student said he had cut ties with his community to be able to manage college. “First-generation students are often putting their relationships with friends, family and their communities on the line,” Morton said. “We need to recognize their sacrifices and focus on the social, emotional and ethical aspects of their college experience, not simply on grade-point averages and graduation rates.”…

“By focusing on the dilemmas first-generation and low-income students can face when pursuing a degree, Morton shed light on an important but often neglected issue,” said Jeff Valentine, education award director. “She also offers strategies that colleges, faculty and students themselves can use to navigate these challenges.”

Professor Morton will be delivering a lecture at the University of Lousville in the Spring as part of the awards ceremony. You can learn more about the Grawemeyer Awards here.

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1 year ago

Congratulations to Jen! For people not in Education it is hard to overstate what a big deal this is: it raises the profile of the book and the author in a way that philosophy just doesn’t have an equivalent for. And in a discipline maybe 10 times the size of philosophy. And it really raises the profile of Philosophy in Education. Benefits us all!