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ERIC Number: ED407115
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Tomorrow Begins Today.
Katz, Lilian G.
There are several ways in which children's early experience is related to later development. First, there is irrefutable evidence that less than best quality early experiences represent missed opportunities for substantial contributions to the rest of children's lives. Second, recent research has found that about 80 percent of all neurological pathways are developed in the first 6 years and the capacity to repair or develop alternative neurological pathways for inadequate, faulty, or damaged systems diminishes after the early years. Thus, the early years should entail exploration in rich and safe environments. Third, all children arrive at school with lively minds and with inborn dispositions to make sense of their experiences, observations, and feelings. Intellectual dispositions should be strengthened and supported rather than undermined by premature academic pressures. Fourth, there is evidence that before age 6 is a critical period for social development because it is likely that others react to children in such a way as to strengthen whatever pattern of social behavior has been established. Fifth, the early development of cultural identity is a source of values, norms, support, strength, inspiration, and pride. It is important to remember that family income may be a more powerful determinant of child rearing practices than ethnic/cultural group. Preschool programs in both rich and poor nations are challenged to engage and enrich children's minds in less than ideal conditions. Even small changes in program quality, as suggested by perturbation theory, can have large, lasting consequences for children. (Contains six references.) (Author/KDFB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A