ERIC Number: ED251170
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Are the Long Term Effects of Early Childhood Education Effective Even Though the Short Term Effects Seem Ineffective?
Goodman, Paul W.
This investigation examines two contrasting evaluations of early childhood education: the Westinghouse-Ohio University study and the Ypsilanti Perry Preschool Project. The Westinghouse study concluded that Head Start experience had very little, if any, academic value for participating children, whereas the Perry Preschool Project concluded that preschool experience was indeed valuable. Since the two studies were very different, it is asserted that comparing them is like comparing apples and oranges. Specifically, the two programs varied in form and content and were very different in their goals. The Perry Preschool study was a carefully controlled experiment with very low teacher/pupil ratios, weekly home visits, expert teachers recruited for their certification in preschool teaching, and a capable research director. In contrast, the Westinghouse-Ohio University study assessed Head Start programs, which involved thousands of children, fairly large pupil/teacher ratios, no regularly scheduled home visits, and few specially certified preschool teachers. The majority of Head Start programs were not full-year, half-day as were programs studied by the Perry Preschool researchers; rather, they were global summer-only, full-day programs with very little direction from the federal government. In addition, whereas the Perry Preschool study attempted to discover differences between experimental and control groups, the Head Start programs were evaluated in terms of whether or not participants achieved at the middle class academic level. Concluding remarks point out many unanswered questions about early childhood education programs. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Perry Preschool Project; Project Head Start; Westinghouse Ohio Study