ERIC Number: EJ1029139
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
How Preschool Fights Poverty
Lamy, Cynthia E.
Educational Leadership, v70 n8 p32-36 May 2013
It's no mystery why children from low-income families often arrive at the kindergarten door lagging substantially behind their wealthier peers in foundational vocabulary, literacy, math, and social skills. These children, writes Cynthia Lamy are less likely to have the early educational supports their wealthier peers receive. They are less likely to spend their days in playful conversational banter with an adult who has the time and patience to answer their incessant questions, helping them build their vocabularies and their general stores of knowledge. This is where preschool comes in. A solid body of research now shows that preschool can provide an enormous early boost that can change the academic trajectory of a child forever. But there's an important caveat, says Lamy--to have this impact and fight poverty, the preschool must be of high quality, like the Perry Preschool program, the Abecedarian study, and the Chicago Child-Parent Centers study. Lamy describes research documenting the strong, long-term effects of these three programs. She also reviews the research on several state-level preschool programs--which strive for high quality but often hit the mid-quality range--and Head Start programs, which struggle with funding and are known to be of inconsistent quality. The comparison of results clearly shows that quality matters--and that striving to provide a high-quality preschool experience for low-income children is a worthwhile goal.
Descriptors: Preschool Education, Poverty, Educational Practices, Longitudinal Studies, Improvement Programs, Effective Schools Research, Evidence, Educational Quality, Educational Benefits, Educational Change, Change Strategies, Family School Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A