Does Preschool Education Matter?

Taking a little turn from writing about art and creativity to look at Preschool Education with my Pre K-4 students. Follow the links and prompts and respond to this blog answering any of the questions in bold. Be sure to put your first name/last initial in the post and submit. Stop back and read the comments by your peers and feel free to enter the conversation by responding to any of their blog posts. You can also respond to either Jonah or Maggie’s blog too if you wish. Looking forward to reading your thoughts.           Be part of a conversation…. Happy break!

Jonah Lehrer, author of the new book Imagine, writes in WIRED about preschool education and the impact it has on children, particularly children of poverty. Read his blog http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/03/does-preschool-matter/,

After reading the blog post by Jonah, explore the work done by Maggie Doyne in Sukret, Nepal at Kopila Valley Children’s Home and School http://blinknow.org/ Be inspired!

What is your “felt sense” about the education of young children after reading the article? Are the ideas presented here consistent with what you are reading in our text by Sue Bredekamp? How does the work at Kopila Valley connect to your reading? How can you make a difference in the lives of young children?

16 thoughts on “Does Preschool Education Matter?

  1. Jessica Rokosz

    My “felt sense” about the education of young children after reading the article remains the same as it was before. I believed that every child should attend preschool and that an early education makes for a better future. Children need to start learning early on in order to reach their fullest potential cognitively and socially. The article just proves this belief of mine, but as the author shows, it can be more beneficial for less fortunate children. My belief remains true, but the article also shows that pre-school is not the only thing that a child needs to be successful in the future. They also need nurture and their genetics also plays a big part in their life of learning. This article is consistent with our textbook because Sue Bredekamp also expresses the important factor of pre-school in a child’s life and that it can be very beneficial for the children.

    The work at Kopila Valley connects to our reading in ECED 263 because it shows a person who is passionate and caring about the lives of children, just like our book expresses is important for the role of an intentional teacher. Maggie Doyne has shown that she can make a positive impact and make for a better future for children who were not fortunate in the beginning of their lives. I can make a difference in the lives of young children by educating them after I become a teacher. I can teach them about the world, and things they need to know to be successful in life. I am very interested in the concept of “learning to read, then read to learn” and am excited to be that teacher who guides children in the “learning to read” stages of life because those are the things that will provide for success.

    – Jessica Rokosz — 5
    submitted 3/14/12

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  2. Rebecca B

    Rebecca B.

    What is your “felt sense” about the education of young children after reading the article?
    I feel that education for young children is very important. Since I work in a Nursery School I have seen the children grow throughout the year. They are not the same students that they were in September.

    Are the ideas presented here consistent with what you are reading in our text by Sue Bredekamp?
    I think that there are ideas present here that are consistent with both. The readings are similar because they both talk about how the earlier the children start being educated the better.

    How does the work at Kopila Valley connect to your reading?
    The work at Kopila Valley connects to the reading because in Kopila Valley there is now a place for students to become educated where there was not in the past.

    How can you make a difference in the lives of young children?
    I can make a difference in the lives of young children by helping out in the head start classes in the local school.
    –3

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  3. Vanessa Calabro

    I agree with the fact that preschool is good for children. When children start out in preschool, it will improve their development for the later years in schooling. Children who live in poverty, if they get the chance to go to preschool, they will see better grades and be better academic wise as they get older. I feel as though what I read in this article is similar to our reading in the text. They emphasize on the importance of preschool for children. The work at Kopila Valley connects to my reading because it is about a woman name Maggie Doyne who opened up this school for orphan children who were going through rough times, who needed homes and basic needs so that they can further their schooling and become positive role models when they become older. I can make a difference in the lives of young children by guiding them to succeed in life. I want to teach them that they can change the world if they believe in themselves. I want to give them the knowledge they need to know and push them to do good.
    — 3

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  4. Mike Ehnot

    My felt sense about the education of young children after reading the article is that it is a vital part of every child’s life. The facts comparing children who go to preschool to those who do not are mind boggling. I was unaware of just how important it is to send young children to preschool. It builds their learning development for higher and future education. The ideas are very consistent with what I read in our text. They both put the same amount of importance on preschool. Each child should be able to attend preschool no matter what their home life is like. The upbringing of a child should not deprive them from being able to get the best education possible and have their greatest qualities be bottled up and not expressed. The work at Kopila Valley relates to our reading because it is all about making a difference. In the education field the greatest compliment you can receive is making a difference is a young child’s life. At Kopila Valley that is what it is all about. They made a 180 degree turn and now offer education to young children who take full advantage of it. The young children enjoy school and they activities they are part of. I can make a difference in the lives of young children by setting a good example be the best teacher I can be. In order to make a difference you really have to connect to the children and I feel I am capable of doing so. My main goal is to make a difference in each of my students for the better.
    –5

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  5. Kara Gress

    Kara Gress
    Dr. Pinciotti
    Foundations of Early Childhood Education
    19 March, 2012
    Blog Response
    After reading this article, I had a feeling of incredibly mixed emotions. I felt so distraught about the fact that not all children have the opportunities due to income level which is something so out of their control. However, I was also pleased that current educators are taking note of the situation at hand, and notifying the world that this is an issue. Also, I was pleased that the current educators included how preschool affects the future of all students. I believe that the article is consistent with what I have been reading in my text book, and also during my research on the childhood psychologists. Majority of the reading revolves around how early childhood education is the building blocks for your future in your academic career. The Kopila Valley Project is amazing to me. The fact that Maggie could see the importance in Early Childhood Education and apply it globally is such an accomplishment to say the least. Also, I believe that the article relates to the Kopila Valley project because each of them explains the importance of nature for the children. The Kopila Valley project provides education, meals, care, and love which are all important factors for future development. In the future I hope that I can provide education services for all children even those who have a low socio-economic status. There are various ways that as an educator I can reach out to all students, I would be interested in working in a Head Start program which is available for all children. As an educator, I would also provide tutoring for all students. Most importantly though, I would be a caregiver, provide a sense of security, and teach each student to the best of my ability!
    — 5

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  6. Amanda Tosh

    What is your “felt sense” about the education of young children after reading the article?
    Even though there is not much importance placed on preschool I go the sense that it is one of the most important schooling of a person’s life. It sets the ground work for the rest of their education. It’s the time when kids are most able to learn new habits. It’s also important that there is no inequality of children education based on their socioeconomic status.
    Are the ideas presented here consistent with what you are reading in our text by Sue Bredekamp?
    Many of the ideas presented are also in our text. The fact on how important childhood education is has been a big factor in both blogs and in our text. No matter what culture, gender, age, or level all students need education.
    How does the work at Kopila Valley connect to your reading?
    A lot of what the students did at Kopila Valley was play. The they put on a show for other children. Throughout our text it says how important play can be to a child. It’s how they learn and a chance for them to explore.
    How can you make a difference in the lives of young children?
    I can motivate children to be the best students they can be. I will have the power to change how they view themselves as a learner. Everyone remember a teacher that has had an impact on their life in a positive way and I want to be that teacher. By being an active and mindful teacher I can achieve just that. — 5

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  7. Courtney Cox

    After reading this article I was given a much better understanding on why pre-school is so important for our children. It deeply upsets me that due to various socio-economic statuses of some families; children aren’t given the same opportunities in education and are further more likely to struggle in the future. I agree fully with the idea that the earlier start of education for all students and attendance in pre-school is imperative. I was so pleased to see that more and more people such as Jonah Lehrer are representing this issue and giving substantial facts on why this matters so much to a child’s development. We can help eliminate the achievement gap by sending all children to pre-school, early education matters! I had the same emotional stand point and level of agreement as I furthered in the reading and through this article I have gained so much more knowledge on the factual information that makes this case so true!
    The Article directly relates to the Kopila Valley Children’s home and school project and what we are taught by Sue Bredekamp in our textbook. The importance of education is so important to a child early in life and all three of these resources determine that! Our textbook focuses on just how much the pre-school and kindergarten movements affected how our students learn and what they are capable of achieving forever! We have amazing influences such as Patty Smith Hill, Caroline Pratt and many more to thank for developing these beliefs. When discussing the Kopila Valley website one remarkable thing that I read was something said by Maggie, the founder and operator, which stated, “I truly believe that if every child in the world is provided with their most basic needs and rights—a safe home, medical care, an education, and love, they will grow to be leaders and end cycles of poverty and violence in our world.” Just because a child is unfortunately born into a low socio-economic status does not mean that they should be given any unfair disadvantages and or not receive the same necessities as every other child in the world.
    Although I may not be able to travel the world and help children globally, I can make a difference from right where I stand. I can work hard every day to ensure that each one of the children I am given to teach receives exactly what they need to achieve in the future. I can volunteer in programs to teach children who are born into families who may be unable to afford an appropriate education. I can tutor children for free to ensure that they are receiving the lessons they deserve. Globally I can save loose change and give up something that I may want and send the money to help an amazing project such as the Kopila Valley Children’s home and school. Most importantly I can educate friends, family and peers on what is happening around our world, and the neglect that some of our children are feeling that cause’s problems for them in the future. The more we can put the word out representing this particular issue the more help we can gain! It starts with us, the educators, the people who care and the parents and guides in a child’s home away from home, their school.
    — 5

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  8. Amanda Koenig

    Amanda Koenig
    ECED263

    What is your “felt sense” about the education of young children after reading the article?
    – Preschools may not be necessary to wealthy living children yet it can impact a child living in a low-income household. Preschool education is the first step towards reducing the success gap between children. With preschool as stated in the article, “we have a duty to ensure that every child has a chance to learn what he’s capable of”.

    Are the ideas presented here consistent with what you are reading in our text by Sue Bredekamp?
    – On a basic scale, yes these ideas are consistent with the ones we have read in our text. We continue to read and be told that every child has the right to an education; regardless of their social standing. As we read it is our jobs as professionals to grant children enriched environments that they are denied at home in order to continue their growth of nature and nurture.

    How does the work at Kopila Valley connect to your reading?
    – The work at Kopila Valley illustrates how preschool significantly closes the success gap between wealthy and poor children. Kopila Valley works also found that children raised in wealthier homes got not much benefit from Pre-education; yet it was still a learning experience.

    How can you make a difference in the lives of young children?
    – We as professionals can make differences in each and every child’s life just by simple nature and nurture. Recognize and evaluate what a child is lacking in their home and you as a teacher fulfills that need to your ethical potential. Every child deserves an education and should be given a chance to show all that they are capable of. –3

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  9. Aimee Barcola

    I feel it is very important for young children to have an education. After reading this article i can see how well these children are doing. They are really thriving from the education, nutrition and love that this school provides. They are all smiling and having fun. This is very important in young childrens lives. These ideas are very consistent with what I am reading in the text. At this school children are given not only an education, but they are given nutrition and care. They are provided with homes and people who care about their future. This connects to our reading because in the head start programs our book talks about are closely related to what the children in the Kopila Valley are experiencing. They recieve care, food, health, and an education because they are coming form an area where they don’t have many resources for those necessities. I can make a difference in the lives of young children by teaching them and helping them with whatever it may be. I can do this through teaching, babysitting or even just spending some time one on one with them. –4

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  10. Elise Del Casale

    Going into the Early Childhood profession, I passionately believe that the presence of a strong educational support system during the early years of learning is so crucial to a child. The findings in James Heckman’s experiments proves this belief to be true. In addition, I believe that it is my duty as an aspiring Early Childhood educator to be an advocate of early childhood education. As an advocate I must share my combined knowledge that I have gathered from reading research articles like James Heckman’s and information I’ve learned throughout my classes to teacher others the importance of early childhood education. I felt that James Heckman’s experiment was very similar to Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Also, the inspiring reading in the article about Maggie relates to our text by how she was stressed the importance of meeting children’s basic needs such as food, water, safe shelter, an education and love will improve their quality of life. I can improve the lives of young children by creating a nurturing learning environment for my students. I want my students to feel safe as if it is their home away from home. In this learning environment I want my students to feel open to opportunities that I will provide them by keeping my teaching flexible in order to allow my students to explore their environment and personal curiosities. –4

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  11. Jenna C

    What is your “felt sense” about the education of young children after reading the article?
    My sense of education is that I feel that young children need some sort of group socialization. By having preschool, your child will make friends and learn rules that they will need for kindergarten. I thought the quote in the article was interesting, “Adults assigned to the preschool program were 20 percent more likely to have graduated from high school and 19 percent less likely to have been arrested more than five times.” You would never expect going to preschool either a couple days or Monday through Friday can make a difference in some one’s life. Young children minds are influenced by people around them. This being said, they make a good point that even if you are wealthy or poor, children should still go to preschool. But in this nature and nurture comes into play. The second to last sentence really stood out to me, “Life is unfair; some kids will always be born into households that have much less”. This means, that as a future Special Education teacher, I have to take this into consideration.
    Are the ideas presented here consistent with what you are reading in our text by Sue Bredekamp?
    Bredekamp states, “The majority of public prekindergarten programs are designed for children from low income families or those who are considered at risk for school failure due to conditions such as low levels of maternal education or speaking a language other than English in the home.” (Page 7) In the reading it says, “The gift of preschool, then,, is that closes the yawning gap between the life experiences of wealthy and poor toddlers, thus making whatever differences become more important.” This is stating that it shouldn’t matter how much money you have, it should be about the education you want to receive.
    How does the work at Kopila Valley connect to your reading?
    According to the Kopila Valley website, there mission is, “To create a self-sustainable living community for destitute children that provides their most basic needs and also contributes to post-war recovery and peace in the nation of Nepal.” This means providing an education to children who can’t afford it. Tucker-Drob found that preschool closed the achievement gap between rich and poor kids.
    How can you make a difference in the lives of young children?
    While reading this article, I experienced that I should take into consideration every child’s lifestyles. Although, I already knew that each child is different, I need to learn how to deal with my students lifestyles. I can also try to earn fund services for infants and toddlers. These children can try to get the same services and programs that children who grow up in a wealthy family have.– 5

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  12. Emily Sasz

    What is your “felt sense” about the education of young children after reading the article?
    My felt sense after reading this article that I agree and preschool does matter for children of all classes of society. Preschool not only provides a foundation for the young learners but, starts the social aspect of learning. Having children from different backgrounds and classes exposes them at a young age I believe is better for the classroom environment still an essential first step toward eliminating the achievement gap.

    Are the ideas presented here consistent with what you are reading in our text by Sue Bredekamp?
    Yes the ideas presented here are consistent with what we are reading in our text by Sue Bredekamp.
    How does the work at Kopila Valley connect to your reading?
    The work at Kopila Valley connects not only to our reading but, to the article read above by that all children no matter what class race home life etc. should have an education. Maggie provides these children with an education and sanctuary from what they have encountered in their lives. By providing them with the school and education she is hand and hand with the reading.
    How can you make a difference in the lives of young children?
    I can make a difference by helping children, getting involved, and by becoming an advocate for their education. Volunteer with the community and special services for children –3

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  13. Alyssa Ruggiero

    This article has allowed me to realize even more than I had before how important it is for children to attend preschool. Since children’s brains are so capable of grasping any information they must have a different sense of surrounding than just their homes. I feel as if this article also proved why all children need education since everyone does not have the same socioeconomic status and children need to learn with different types of people to experience aspects. Each of these ideas are also, consistent with Sue Bredekamps’ because it expresses that children must begin school at an early age. The reading connects with Kopila Valleys’ work at her school because it is a home that allows for the students to learn who could not afford this type of education before, explaining that all children need an education. I can make a difference in children’s lives by never giving up on them and always being sure to better their education. I want my students to succeed and become independent, exceptional learners and will be sure to accomplish that. –3

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  14. Katelyn Scheck

    After reading this article, my “felt sense” about the education of young children is still extremely inportant. During the pre-school years is where children learn to develop and grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically. It is a point and time where children will grasp a taste of what is coming ahead when they reach elementary schooling. Rules, manners, friendships, and morals are factors that take place in the early stages of life; especially within pre-schools. I believe that Sue Bredekamp’s ideas are also consistent with the content of this article. No matter what socioeconomic level a family is contained in, education is vital for everyone and recieving it based on certain socioeconomic levels should not interfere. I feel having all different types of cultures in the classroom is great for the students as well as the teachers.

    The work at Koplia Valler connects to the reading by educating all students especially the ones who need it most. Tucker-Drob found that preschool closed the achievement gap between rich and poor kids. Maggie is a young woman and the fact that she is this inspirational to millions, is incredible. She is so driven for children to receive an engaged education. Maggie is making a positive impact towards the children who once were unfortunate. These children seem to be so thrilled to learn in all aspects that Maggie is teaching them. I will be sure to make a difference in children’s lives by expanding their education. I want to make an impact and be looked up to as a role model. As professionals, I will take every aspect of each child and demonstrate their culture and identity, hobbies, and interests into my teaching instruction. I am going to be an educator that a student will look back to and remember the fun, positive, safe, organized, and interactive factors that I will have taught them as well as a created community of learners.– 4

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  15. Alycia Fratzola

    This article helped me realize how important preschool really is. The information provided in the article was very interesting and informing. I now see how essential preschool is for a child’s development, and how it is strongly helpful for all students at all economic levels. I feel that this article is consistent with the textbook, and stongly adds to my learning on this topic. Maggie provides a great environment for children. She trys to make the best environment for all her students. It is very interesting and inspiring to see what she did for all of those children. I want to be able to make a difference in childrens life. I can get invovled in programs like make a wish foundation, or the big sister/big brother club.–3

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  16. Brionna Chesik

    My felt sense after reading this article is how important and essential preschool can be for children. These young years in a child’s life are the foundation for the rest of there years in growing and developing as a person and in education. It is good that others are trying to get this message out of how important starting an education early with a preschool really is. This article provided me with alot more facts on the importance of preschool than I had previously known. I now have an even greater sense of how important early education is. This article goes right along with our text book in stating how important preschool and education are and how beneficial preschool is to the beginning of a young child’s education and growth. The work at Kopila Valley relates to our reading by showing a person who is truely passoniate and careing about children and making a difference in their lives. Maggie shows a great interest in bettering these childrens lifes by providing them with an education to give them a better future. She saw what little these children had and wanted to change that by giving them some of the most important things including food,shelter,and an education. I can make a difference in the lives of young children by becomming the best teacher I can be and passing that knowledge onto the students. I will try my best in getting the students interested and motivated in wanting to learn and develop their knowledge. I will also make sure that my classroom is a warm and inviting place and somewhere that the children want to be and feel comfortable. I will try and help in anyway that I can to better a child’s future. –3
    Brionna Chesik

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