Introduction: Girls’ education is an international imperative, but low-income countries are likely to fail the basic skills targets of 2030. Low-income girls often score lower than boys and drop out early, leading to adult illiteracy. Girls must be taught essential reading and math efficiently to boost early performance and likelihood of staying in school. Adult illiterates, most of whom are women, must also be taught efficiently. Little known solutions can revolutionize instruction. Much neuroscientific research has opened up unknown doors to streamline the brain processes that create reading automaticity. It is imperative that governments and donors understand their rationale and apply them to attain gender equity. The presentation will explain the science in lay language and show the effects of pilot projects in various countries.
Presenter: Helen Abadzi is a cognitive psychologist who worked for 27 years at the Bank as an education specialist and evaluator. She started the international early-grade reading initiative in 2004 and after retirement she continues to work in this and related areas. She collaborates with UNESCO and other organizations, and teaches psychology courses at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Moderator: Dominique Lallement, Co-Chair Gender and Development TG
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