Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Preschool musings--problem with Head Start

Full disclosure--My daughter went to preschool when she turned 2. I worked at home but had to work...I could not both care for her during the day and support her.

The preschool she went to was (31 yrs ago) more than $600 a month--members of Congress put their kids there--we were the poor relations. I still get the newsletter--the place is going strong.

They separated the kids into "rooms" of like ages. But researchers at Ohio State say that as of 2009, 75% of all Head Start classrooms (for low-income kids 3-5)  were mixed age. (Psychology Science)

This can be a downside for children, the researchers said.

Four-year-olds especially can be in less challenging classrooms. This may contribute to the less than stellar achievement milestones of 4-yr-olds in Head Start.

Basically in a sample of 2,879 kids, they found the higher prercent of 3-yr-olds in a class, the less well the 4-yr-olds did. When younger kids made up half the class, the 4-yr-olds lagged by five months.

There were also no academic gains for the 3-yr-olds.

They did not test for causes, but speculated that interaction with younger kids did not provide the stimulation in math and language and maybe teachers boiled down the lessons to a mixture young and older could grasp.

Something to think about...

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