In the context of its 50th birthday, the Getulio Vargas Foundation Graduate School of Economics (FGV EPGE) promoted, on 26th and 27th October, the conference "Early Childhood: The International and Brazilian Experience" The event was coordinated by Professor Aloisio Araujo, and the participation of the Nobel Prize in Economics James Heckman was the highlight.
During the two days of the event, speakers presented and discussed topics related to early childhood education, defending its importance. According to the director of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Luiz Daividovich, during the opening ceremony, "to improve the education of our youth is essential for Brazil to exert its role on the world stage."
With Daividovich, also composed the opening session the vice-president of Getulio Vargas Foundation, Sergio Quintella, the Secretary of Basic Education of the Ministry of Education, Maria do Pilar Lacerda Almeida e Silva, the Dean of EPGE / FGV, Rubens Penha Cysne and the event coordinator, Aloisio Araujo.
At the opening cerimony, Professor Rubens Penha Cysne highlighted the seminal contribution of Carlos Geraldo Langoni, former Director of EPGE, since the decade of 70, which placed education as one of the main reasons for the maldistribution of income in Brazil. He recalled that, still in the 80s, the work of current President of FGV, Carlos Ivan Simonsen Leal, co-authored with Sergio Ribeiro da C. Werlang, pointed much higher returns in the elementary and intermediate education than in tertiary (higher) education. He pointed out that this fact represents an important warning to suggest modification of the policies of spending on education in Brazil, which usually focus on the tertiary sector at the expense of basic education. Finally, the Dean of EPGE made special mention to the contribution of Professor Aloisio Araujo in the formation of different generations of EPGE's students over the past 31 years, as well as in the promotion of events, as mentioned here, of great practical importance for the country.
Besides Professor Heckman, the following people attended the event: Claudia Costin, Secretary of Education in Rio de Janeiro; Maria do Pilar Lacerda Almeida e Silva, Secretary of Basic Education of the Ministry of Education; André Portela, professor of EESP / FGV; Seong Moon, economist, and Rodrigo Pinto, both from the University of Chicago. Also, from the study group on Early Childhood Education of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, the following attendees: Simon Schwartzman, sociologist; Joao Batista Oliveira, education specialist; Luiz Carlos da Silva Faria, professor of the State University of Maringá; Erasmo Barbante Casella, neuroscientist and professor of USP and Edson Amaro Jr., neuroscientist.
At the end of the first day there was also the launching of the book " Aprendizagem Infantil - Uma abordagem da neurociência, economia e psicologia cognitiva “( Children's learning - an approach to neuroscience, economics and cognitive psychology) coordinated by Aloisio Araujo and part of the series "Science and Technology for National Development - Strategic Studies," produced by the study groups of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.
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