In large part because of documentaries like Waiting for “Superman,” there is an increased awareness society-wide about the failings of our current educational system; namely, that it is–by design–laden with flaws and offers unequal opportunities to students to succeed. As a result, the school-aged population in the United States has all but lost its global competitive edge, falling in some cases far behind other nations’ students in aptitude tests across myriad subjects.
An upcoming BenBella title offers a solution to our children’s lagging academic progress: effective parenting. Harvard economist and expert on childhood education Ronald F. Ferguson, Ph.D. (known best perhaps as being the nation’s foremost authority on the “achievement gap”) and award-winning journalist Tatsha Robertson, M.A. team up and use their decades worth of combined research to address this critical issue. Between 2008 and 2010, Dr. Ferguson supervised a series of thorough interviews with 120 Harvard students about how they were parented, hoping to glean some insight about raising high-achieving kids. With the help of Robertson, who carefully combed through the interviews and compared them to similar research she had performed during her tenure at the Boston Globe in the years prior, the two recognized a distinct pattern: that the parents of these “excellent” individuals had followed–whether consciously or not–a “Formula” for raising their kids.
Ferguson and Robertson (a veteran BenBella author already) will combine their extensive research for their upcoming book, Masters of the Formula, due to be published in early 2018. The book will detail the scientifically-based “Formula” that parents of academically excellent children follow, regardless of their race or economic background. In addition to their Harvard interviews, the authors will conduct interviews with other well-known successful people–some parents themselves–including President Obama.
The authors also address the fact that academic excellence is not the only measure of success for many, and that parents can still have a positive–and critical–role in helping their children reach their full potentials. They provide evidence that by observing a child’s strengths and learning style early on, parents can tailor the “Formula” to best suit the individual child, and ensure success in whatever venture each child decides to pursue.
Masters of the Formula is a book that BenBella is incredibly proud to publish. It addresses a critical concern that overwhelms many parents, and offers a straightforward, solution-based course of action to remedy it. I eagerly await its release.
To get a glimpse at Dr. Ferguson’s insight on the topic of education, watch him speak below about eliminating the achievement gap: