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2017 WCGTC Biennial World Conference

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3.2 Chester Finn Video and Discussion Panel

Saturday, 22 July 2017
13:30 - 14:30

Clancy

 

Dr. Chester Finn
Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and Distinguished Senior Fellow & President Emeritus, Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Gifted but disadvantaged (This keynote will be by telecommunication.)

Our study of challenges in the education of high-ability children in the USA and eleven other countries (http://hepg.org/hep-home/books/failing-our-brightest-kids) made vivid—though not surprising—that urgent issues in gifted education involve students from disadvantaged backgrounds. These children depend on the formal education system to help them realize their potential, while youngsters from prosperous, educated families often benefit from multiple options and knowledgeable “navigators” through the education system. PISA data from every country show far greater representation of upper SES children among high achievers (though the gap is far wider in some countries—including the U.S.—than others.) Remedies may include universal screening, targeted outreach, early opportunities, acceleration, special schools and classes (with entry apportioned across communities), additional out-of-school resources and counseling, and mastery-based progress through the primary-secondary curriculum. Assembling the resources and will to focus on disadvantaged children is difficult, however, as public pressure for gifted education is most likely to come from more fortunate parents and their representatives.

Chester E. Finn Jr. is distinguished senior fellow and president Emeritus at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He is a scholar, educator, and public servant who has been at the forefront of the national education debate for thirty-five years. He was born and raised in Ohio and received his doctorate from Harvard in education policy. President from 1997 to 2014 of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, where he remains as a distinguished senior fellow, he is also a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution where he chaired Hoover’s Koret Task Force on K–12 Education. A member of the Maryland State Board of Education, he is the author of over twenty books and more than 400 articles; his work has appeared in publications such as The Christian Science Monitor, Education Week, Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and The Weekly Standard. Finn is the recipient of many awards and holds an honorary doctorate from Colgate University. He and his wife, Renu Virmani, a physician, have two grown children and three adorable granddaughters. They live in Chevy Chase, MD.

 

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