Narrowing the “hope gap:” City Connects and lessons from Norway

Boston College Professor Eric Dearing has just published a research paper on student achievement gaps in Norway, and his research shows that countries – including Norway and the United States – aren’t doing enough to close these gaps.

Fortunately, Dearing says, programs like City Connects can help close these gaps because of the way City Connects Coordinators work with students, by assessing strengths and meeting needs. 

Before he became a professor in the Department of Counseling, Developmental & Educational Psychology at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, Dearing was a post-doctoral researcher at Harvard’s School of Education and Harvard Medical School where his mentor was the late Stuart Hauser, M.D. 

“Hauser had a collaboration with some Norwegian researchers that I had known about, and after I arrived at Boston College, he called and said, I’ve got a group of researchers from Norway, would you come over and give a presentation and then come to dinner with us?

That invitation led to a global collaboration. 

“I was already doing a lot of work on poverty and child development in the United States,” Dearing says. “And while Norway is different from here – it has very different social policies – it also has child poverty.” 

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