February 19, 2021
The inspiration for this Black History Month session is that cognitive skill disparities between racial groups are well-established in nationally-representative data by the time that children are two-years old and we need to do something about it. This session will present concepts and early findings from a culturally adaptive and respectful public health approach to early learning and brain development that coalitions from more than three dozen communities in the US and abroad have begun to implement in a networked learning community. In addition, the session may briefly discuss the parenting of school-aged children, drawing partly on the speaker's 2019 book co-authored with Tatsha Robertson, The Formula: Unlocking the Secrets to Raising Highly Successful Children.
Ron Ferguson is an MIT-trained economist whose teaching, research, and social entrepreneurship across almost four decades at Harvard Kennedy School have covered topics ranging from state and local economic development, to school reform, to early childhood parenting. He has taught at Harvard since 1983, after full-time appointments at Brandeis and Brown Universities. In 2014, he co-founded Tripod Education Partners and shifted from full-time into an adjunct role at the Kennedy School, where he remains a faculty associate at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy. Ron’s current priority is an initiative that he launched as faculty director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard, that mobilizes communities for infant and toddler learning and brain development. See <thebasics.org>. His most recent book, coauthored with Tatsha Robertson and published in 2019, is The Formula: Unlocking the Secrets to Raising Highly Successful Children. He holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a PhD from MIT, both in economics.