Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Friday

March 15, 2013

Forum: Big picture of preschool education

As early as the 1850s citizens concerned with child welfare promoted the benefits of a nurturing home and education as the remedy to a lifetime of poverty, addiction and crime.

In well-meaning but, as it turned out, misguided attempts to save poor, urban children from their certain fates, and protect communities from crime and violence, several philanthropic societies founded programs to serve these children based on the idea that removing them from their “toxic” homes and families and putting them in positive environments was the answer.

It was a “bootstrap” idea — given education and wholesome living conditions, opportunity would knock and these children would answer. There were no data to support this idea, but it seemed that it should work and wealthy patrons poured millions into the efforts.

Fast-forward a little over 100 years … to Ypsilanti, Mich. where a group of educators were promoting the benefits of a nurturing home and education as a remedy for a lifetime of poverty, addiction and crime. Only this time their ideas were based on theory and research.

One of the principles they identified was that removing children from their families does not lead to positive outcomes.

Instead, they proposed to test the hypothesis that targeted, intensive services to families combined with high-quality early care and education would lead to success in school and life. And so the HighScope/Perry Preschool Project began.

Other carefully controlled social experiments followed, among them the Abecedarian Project and Chicago Child-Parent Center (CPC) project.

Sixty years later (how time flies) the evidence is in. Continuing research on how the brain grows and functions and new findings about the critical importance of attachment in the social/emotional development of children lead to one — and only one- conclusion: early childhood matters.

The CPC project, launched in 1980, differed in two important ways from earlier studies.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy