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March 28, 2011 - A UNESCO Chair in Learning and Literacy has been established at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. The first of its kind at a U.S. school of education, the UNESCO Chair will focus on achieving UN Millennium Development Goals in the area of basic education and literacy in the poorest countries of the world.
Established within Penn’s International Literacy Institute (ILI), the UNESCO Chair will be held by Dr. Dan Wagner, a professor of education at Penn GSE and Director of the ILI.
UNESCO chairs are created as part of a bilateral partnership between UNESCO and universities committed to the goals of the United Nations. There are currently over 600 UNESCO chairs in 128 countries. The UNESCO Chair at Penn is the 18th chair in the United States.
Wagner is an educational psychologist and recognized expert in learning, literacy and international educational development. After taking an undergraduate degree in Engineering at Cornell University, and voluntary service in the Peace Corps (Morocco), he received his Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Michigan, was a two-year postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, a Visiting Fellow (twice) at the International Institute of Education Planning in Paris, a Visiting Professor at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Paris.
Wagner has extensive experience in national and international educational issues, and has served as an advisor to UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank, OECD, USAID and others on international development issues. His current responsibilities include directing the International Educational Development Program at Penn GSE, and the International Literacy Institute.
In addition to many professional publications, Wagner has written/edited over 20 books, including: Literacy: Developing the Future (in five languages); Literacy: An International Handbook; Learning to Bridge the Digital Divide; New Technologies for Literacy and Adult Education: A Global Review (in three languages); Monitoring and Evaluation of ICT for Education in Developing Countries; and Smaller, Quicker, Cheaper: Improving Learning Assessments in Developing Countries.