About the Author

Ronald F. Ferguson is an MIT-trained economist who focuses social science research on economic, social, and educational challenges. He has been on the faculty at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government since 1983, after full time appointments at Brandeis and Brown Universities. In 2014, he co-founded Tripod Education Partners and shifted into an adjunct role at the Kennedy School, where he remains a fellow at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy and faculty director of the university-wide Achievement Gap Initiative (AGI).

Tatsha Robertson has more 20 years of experience handling investigative, feature and news stories for digital and print media. She was the first female New York City Bureau Chief for The Boston Globe, served as Deputy Editor and Interim Managing Editor at Essence Magazine, and later became the Senior Crime Editor for People Magazine. She also taught as an adjunct instructor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at NYU. She is the author of Media Circus: A Look at Private Tragedy in the Public Eye, and is currently working on a thriller novel as well as a blog called The Ordinary Genius Project.

Book Description

This book unveils how parenting helped shape some of the most fascinating people you will ever encounter, by doing things that almost any parent can do. You don’t have to be wealthy or influential to ensure your child reaches their greatest potential. What you do need is commitment―and the strategies outlined in this book.

In The Formula: Unlocking the Secrets to Raising Highly Successful Children, Harvard economist Ronald Ferguson, named in a New York Times profile as the foremost expert on the US educational “achievement gap,” along with award-winning journalist Tatsha Robertson, reveal an intriguing blueprint for helping children from all types of backgrounds become successful adults.

Informed by hundreds of interviews, the book includes never-before-published insights from the “How I was Parented Project” at Harvard University, which draws on the varying life experiences of 120 Harvard students. Ferguson and Robertson have isolated a pattern with eight roles of the “Master Parent” that make up the Formula: the Early Learning Partner, the Flight Engineer, the Philosopher, the Fixer, the Model, the Negotiator-Counselor, and the GPS Navigational Voice.

The Formula combines the latest scientific research on child development, learning, and brain growth and illustrates with life stories of extraordinary individuals―from the Harvard-educated Ghanian entrepreneur who, as the young child of a rural doctor, was welcomed in his father’s secretive late-night political meetings; to the nation’s youngest state-wide elected official, whose hardworking father taught him math and science during grueling days on the family farm in Kentucky; to the DREAMer immigration lawyer whose low-wage mother pawned her wedding ring to buy her academically outstanding child a special flute.

The Formula reveals strategies on how you―regardless of race, class, or background―can help your children become the best they can be and shows ways to maximize their chances for happy and purposeful lives.

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