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UT Professor Recruited by Scotland’s Government to Advise on Educating Diverse Populations

Where do the leaders of the world look when they want to improve their education systems? The University of Texas at Austin.

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Where do the leaders of the world look when they want to improve their education systems? The University of Texas at Austin.

Allison Skerrett

Associate Professor Allison Skerrett from the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Photo courtesy of College of Education.

Associate Professor Allison Skerrett from the College of Education was recently appointed to Scotland’s International Council of Education Advisers.

Skerrett’s research, on how teachers and policy makers can better understand the educational needs and gifts of a multicultural student populations, gained the attention of the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon.

According to recent studies, low-income students in Scotland performed significantly below their wealthier peers in school, were three times as likely to be unemployed when they graduated, and twice as likely to only work part-time hours if hired.

The International Council of Education Advisors is tasked with addressing this equity gap between students – cultural communication being one part of the equation.

The council includes 10 handpicked global scholars from the United States, Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Malaysia, Singapore, and the UK.

“I feel honored to be part of such an esteemed group of educational advisers,” Skerrett says.  “The Scottish education system has many great strengths, yet it recognizes the need for continuing improvement.”

The council met for the first time in Edinburgh this past August and will resume in February 2017.

This article is adapted from “UT-Austin College of Education Professor Travels to Scotland as Member of Its International Council of Education Advisers” by Yvonne Taylor, College of Education.