ERIC Number: ED389413
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Early Orientation and Later School Achievement.
Harper, Lawrence V.
Most research on the long-term outcomes of early enrichment programs for low-income children suggests that the effects of Head Start participation and similar experiences are to help narrow the gap between academic achievement of low-income and higher-income children. The failure of children from low-income families to excel in public schools has been attributed to their tendency to develop skills more appropriate to a different cultural setting than what fits within an academic setting. Poor children experience different kinds of verbal interactions with adults and generally less academic, intellectual stimulation in their homes. Thus, when entering school, low-income children bring with them different backgrounds from middle-class children, resulting in differing ways of relating to adult authority figures in school settings. This research was conducted under the premise that the degree to which children are either adult- or peer-oriented is a critical factor for school success. Preschool children who spend more time with adult caregivers develop expectations of adults as valuable resources and also cultivate greater skill in using adults as resources. The research suggests that Head Start programs can show children that adult, extra-family caregivers can also be valuable resources. The approach suggested includes an emphasis on the role of adults, especially teachers, as useful resources, facilitators of interesting activities, and as a means of comfort and assistance for children. Contains 28 references. (BGC)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Caregiver Child Relationship, Child Behavior, Child Caregivers, Early Childhood Education, Family Environment, Family Life, Low Income, Lower Class Students, Middle Class Students, Parent Child Relationship, Poverty, Preschool Children, Skill Analysis, Skill Development, Stimulation, Verbal Communication
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Project Head Start
Note: Paper presented at the National Head Start Association's Annual Training Conference (22nd, Washington, DC, April 18-22, 1995).