Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Importance of Preschool: Childhood experiences differ by socio-economic class

Posted by   + Show Post

This is an excerpt from:

The Early Education Racket

If you are reading this article, your kid probably doesn’t need preschool.

It’s hard to tease out the effects of preschool on a child. Part of the problem is self-selection: Compared with kids who skip preschool, kids who attend usually have more well-to-do, encouraging parents who read and do puzzles with them at home. Children who don’t go to preschool are usually from more disadvantaged families, which means they watch lots of TV and are yelled at more than they are praised, which some researchers believe can stunt cognitive development.

I am not making a Bell Curve argument here; promise. But research suggests that parents who are financially comfortable tend to devote more resources and time to their kids, in part because they can. In work they conducted at the University of Kansas and chronicled in their book Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children, Betty Hart and Todd Risley recorded, for two-and-a-half years, a full hour of conversation every day between parents and children from 42 American families of differing social classes. Children with professional parents heard about 30 million words by the time they turned 3, compared with 20 million in working-class families and 10 million in welfare families. In addition, the ratio of parental encouragements to reprimands was about 6-to-1 among professional families, 2-to-1 among the working class and 1-to-2 in welfare homes. These different experiences closely tracked with the children’s later academic and intellectual performance, and other studies have since supported these findings.

But what does all this have to do with preschool? Research suggests that preschool only benefits children from these disadvantaged families (in particular, families that are below the poverty line, whose mothers are uneducated, or who are racial minorities). This could be because preschool acts as a kind of “equalizer,” ensuring that for at least a few hours a day, these kids get the same high-quality interaction with adults as more advantaged children do, which helps to even the developmental playing field.

For instance, in a study published last year, University of Texas psychologist Elliot Tucker-Drob assessed a number of different characteristics in a group of more than 600 pairs of twins. He looked at the scores the children got at age 2 on tests of mental ability; whether or not they went to preschool; how “stimulating” their mothers’ interactions were with them; their socio-economic status and race; and finally, how well they scored on reading and math tests at age 5. Because he was comparing what happened to identical twins, who share all of their genes, and fraternal twins, who on average share half (yet both sets typically grow up together), Tucker-Drob could home in on the effects of environment and genetics on the kids’ outcomes.

A hell of a lot of math later, Tucker-Drob reported that the home environments of children who do not attend preschool have a much larger influence on kindergarten academic ability than do the home environments of preschoolers. In other words, a bad home situation becomes a much smaller problem when your kid goes to preschool; when you have a good home environment, preschool doesn’t really matter. (Granted, children from poor families tend to go to lower quality preschools than wealthy kids do, but for them, a bad preschool is usually better than nothing.)

To read in it's entirety:

READ MORE »

by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Replies (81-84):
themissheather
by Member on Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:01 AM
Bump for when I'm not mobile
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
mommygiggles317
by Bronze Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 2:06 PM


Quoting emeraldangel2.0:

I'm an Early Childhood Education Major and I call bullshit on you. everything i said came straight from the textbook. remember, your opinions do not affect how stats are.

Quoting mommygiggles317:


Quoting emeraldangel2.0:

no it is not. the stuff she has high lighted is in fact very true. i learned about this last semester.

there are three factors when it comes to determining if a child is at risk

1) income

2) maternal education

3) english as a second language

if a mom is a high school drop out, her child is automatically determined to be at risk in the educational system. those children, poor children, and non-english speaking children  are the ones who need preschool the most yet are the least likely to go.

Quoting mommygiggles317:

I call BULLSHIT!!! This article is wrong on so many levels it's sad... smdh


Well, as a sociology major and early childhood eduaction minor - I call bullshit... socioeconomic status, maternal education, and whether or not english is not enough to determine educational outcome of children. I live in the Bronx here in NYC and let me tell you what I see on damn near every block... a Brightside Academy - early childhood education centers filled with the children of low income families who more than likely are on public assistance who have to work to receive their benefits and have to put their children who are not school age somewhere while they work. In the local newspapers here and at schools where I do my teacher and classroom observations/student teaching there are plenty of advertisements for early childhood education centers/ pre-schools that take the HRA childcare vouchers. 

It's sad that people read these bullshit articles based on bullshit studies that go against truths that we all know: this article stands against everything that makes me want to be an educator in the first place: (1) that regardless of socioeconomics, if children are brought up in loving, safe, healthy homes where they are nurtured and encouraged have high expectations placed upon them, they will thrive. Children that do not have these things may/will fall through the cracks. (2) if children regardless of socioeconomics enter classrooms with teachers who are culturally sensitive, realistic and unbiased, they will thrive. If teachers are allowed to find out how each individual student learns best, and can adjust and employ different methodologies in the classroom, children will thrive. (3) If teachers are allowed the freedom to teacher and educate instead of just teaching to stupid tests that judge nothing of value, children will thrive... (4) if parents, teachers and communities work together, children will thrive... This is what I've learned and walked away with from all of my early childhood education courses... Or maybe my school is unique... 


Call bullshit all you want... I still call bullshit on the damn article. First of all, if you know anything about early childhood education, you know that the benefit to all children is socialization... getting them prepared for school culture. As someone else on this post stated, it also helps with transitioning children from being in the home with family to being with others for long periods of time... getting them used to being seperated from their families. There are a lot of advantages for ALL children if they receive this early academic/social interaction. 

Now since you are an ECE major... then you obviously have taken child psychopathology courses as well... right?... So, now let's discuss the fact that a lot of the time (regardless of socioeconomic status of the family) most children with childhood disorders are first diagnosed when in a early childhood type of setting. Early intervention improves academic and social success. There's also the fact that children are learning age-appropriate behaviors from their peers. 

Me being a sociology major - I will be the first to say that what you read in one book, you'll find a totally different opinion in another. Just because you quoted from "the textbook" that does not make it obsolete. I'm 33 years old... I'm not in college being spoon-fed information and ideas... so, my experience and that of those I have observed are relevant,(what I see happening around me, what I observe in the classrooms) - because I do not believe in any study that claims x and z and they did not interview EVERYBODY... controlled experiments and observations do not represent the whole... So you can base your opinions on textbooks and I'll base mine on life... that's the sociologist in me I guess... 

I'm using my education to develop my own early childhood multi-cultural learning academy here in New York... I believe in providing all children with educational experiences as early as possible. I believe all children deserve to start off on a level playing field. But, I also know and believe that a lot of people want to do away with ECE being subsidized for low-income families. If it is believed that it is of no benefit to all children, then we will see it disappearing more and more than we do now. As a future educator, I am weary of anything right now being said to discredit ECE, because I know of the larger political goal in doing so... And I still call bullshit on an article that bases it's thesis on a study conducted on x amount of twins... that represents the whole?... yeah okay... 

love you signExercising Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding...

mommygiggles317
by Bronze Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 2:28 PM


Quoting TerriAnne2606:

I think you're getting definsive about something which you shouldn't. The article says MOST not ALL.  You are basing your responses on you and your child - not on the average household.  I know you're going to slam me for this response based on your previous replies - but there's the norm, then there's outliers, of which you appear to be.  Studies don't usually just pull things out of the air (unless you are talking about other very volitile but shouldn't be subjects these days).  


Quoting mommygiggles317:


Quoting emeraldangel2.0:

no it is not. the stuff she has high lighted is in fact very true. i learned about this last semester.

there are three factors when it comes to determining if a child is at risk

1) income

2) maternal education

3) english as a second language

if a mom is a high school drop out, her child is automatically determined to be at risk in the educational system. those children, poor children, and non-english speaking children  are the ones who need preschool the most yet are the least likely to go.

Quoting mommygiggles317:

I call BULLSHIT!!! This article is wrong on so many levels it's sad... smdh


Well, as a sociology major and early childhood eduaction minor - I call bullshit... socioeconomic status, maternal education, and whether or not english is not enough to determine educational outcome of children. I live in the Bronx here in NYC and let me tell you what I see on damn near every block... a Brightside Academy - early childhood education centers filled with the children of low income families who more than likely are on public assistance who have to work to receive their benefits and have to put their children who are not school age somewhere while they work. In the local newspapers here and at schools where I do my teacher and classroom observations/student teaching there are plenty of advertisements for early childhood education centers/ pre-schools that take the HRA childcare vouchers. 

It's sad that people read these bullshit articles based on bullshit studies that go against truths that we all know: this article stands against everything that makes me want to be an educator in the first place: (1) that regardless of socioeconomics, if children are brought up in loving, safe, healthy homes where they are nurtured and encouraged have high expectations placed upon them, they will thrive. Children that do not have these things may/will fall through the cracks. (2) if children regardless of socioeconomics enter classrooms with teachers who are culturally sensitive, realistic and unbiased, they will thrive. If teachers are allowed to find out how each individual student learns best, and can adjust and employ different methodologies in the classroom, children will thrive. (3) If teachers are allowed the freedom to teacher and educate instead of just teaching to stupid tests that judge nothing of value, children will thrive... (4) if parents, teachers and communities work together, children will thrive... This is what I've learned and walked away with from all of my early childhood education courses... Or maybe my school is unique... 



I'm sorry if I'm coming off defensive, but, I just do not believe the stuff in this article to be true. If I were to walk outside of my door right now, I'd walk past lots of children/toddlers who are having conversations like their grown. People forget that every generation is born more advanced than the previous. i see toddlers who are using (and understanding how to) tablets, phones, Nintendo DS, Wii, X-boxes, everything. Kids know how to turn on computers, televisions, know about all of this technology that we who are older use around them. Children learn from experience and exploration - all children. And I do find it rather offensive for people to keep trying to promote the myth that if the parents are poor, that automatically means that "MOST" of them just yell at their kids - they do not know how to talk to them. They do not ask their children open-ended questions, just yes or no (that right there is bullshit because we all know the one universal open-ended we all as parents ask our kids "Why did you do that" lol...) Being poor does not mean that parents are not good parents. Just because  have money that does not mean that their children are automatically so advanced because they talk to their children, and they don't yell and the home environment is so healthy and so on and so on...  

love you signExercising Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding...

nickngab
by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 8:13 PM

you are absolutely right. Researchers have demonstrated that just as high quality child care can serve as a protective factor, lower quality child care can serve as a risk for children from underprivileged or poor backgrounds.  Programs where children are systematically, regularly, and frequently engaged in a mix of teacher-led and child-initiated activities that enhance the development of language, knowledge, of concepts and skills, problem-solving abilities, self-regulation and other socio-emotional skills, attitudes, values, and dispositions"  are characterized as high quality (Barnett & Belfield, 2006). Conversely, programs where there is "little planned, children wander aimlessly, with few interesting and thought provoking interactions, activities, or materials, and teachers are unresponsive to their interest or needs" are generally characterized as low quality programs (Barnett & Belfield, 2006).  That is to say, low quality programs with minimum government requirements and insufficient funding, and where curriculum does not adhere to guidelines set forth by the state standards and foundations, are not designed to improve child development. Moreover, low quality programs can even reduce early cognitive growth. A study conducted by Leob, Fuller, Kagan and Bidemi (2004) found that children in low quality care scored lower on cognitive proficiencies and social development on the Bracken Basic Competence Scales (a measure of children's basic language and cognitive proficiency in a variety of domains) (Psychological Corporation, 1998) compared with national norms. 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)



Featured