Michel DeGraff

Project: Cambridge, MA: Countrywide Education: Inisyativ MIT-Ayiti: Amelyore aksè ak kalite nan ansèyman Syans, Teknoloji, Enjeniri & Matematik (STEM) nan nivo lekòl segondè ak inivèsite ann Ayiti (MIT-Haiti Initiative: Improve STEM teaching in Haiti’s secondary schools and Universities)

Michel DeGraff is a Haitian linguist, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the director of the MIT-Haiti Initiative and a founding member of the Haitian Creole Academy. His field of scholarship is Creole studies. He is known for his advocacy towards the recognition of Haitian Creole as a full-fledged language. He believes that Haitian children should be taught in their native language at all levels of instruction, contrary to the tradition of teaching them in French. From DeGraff’s perspective, Haitian Creole is a necessary tool for helping Haitian children build strong foundations in order for them to become proficient and creative learners in all academic areas, including non-native languages such as French, English, Spanish, etc. In the fall of 2012, he received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to lead a project to develop, evaluate and disseminate digital materials in Haitian Creole for interactive learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Haiti.