IQ Gains from Early Childhood Programs Fade

Children enrolled in Head Start or in another enriched preschool program, compared to similar children without such preschool, typically show a gain of about 10 IQ points during the year of the Head Start experience.

This IQ gain typically fades and then disappears within the first few years of school, so that by second grade neither IQ nor achievement test scores nor¬ mally reveal any difference in performance between those children who had been in Head Start and those who had not been in Head Start (McKey et al., 985).

There may, however, be a sleeper effect of special preschool experiences. Several studies show that although the effects seem to wash out when chil¬ dren reach school, discernable effects may reappear at some later point (Lazar &; Darlington, 1982). Figure 6.5 on the next page shows just such a sleeper effect in the achievement test results from one of 12 long-term pro¬ jects analyzed by Lazar and Darlington.

The most lasting effects have been found not on IQ or achievement test scores but on measures of school behavior. Children with Head Start or other enriched preschool experience are less likely to be placed in special educadon classes, somewhat less likely to be held back to repeat a grade, and somewhat more likely to graduate from high school (Haskins, 1989). So although the children with preschool experience do not typically test a whole lot higher (and do not differ in IQ), they function better in school.

In general, the biggest effects are found in the best designed studies and among children who attended the most intensive preschool programs, such as the Weikart program shown in Figure 6.5.

These results suggest that educational interventions can indeed have an effect, but that they work more like vitamins than one-time inoculations. If the effects are sustained, it appears to be more because the family interaction changed, or the child's attitude or motivation was changed, rather than that nently altered the child's intellectual trajectory. If we want to have a lasting nently altered the child's intellectual trajectory. If we want to have a lasting effect, perhaps we need to start earlier, before an impoverished environment has established a pattern.


Folksonomies: education

/education/special education (0.999829)
/family and parenting/children/daycare and preschool (0.988854)
/education/high school (0.962857)

Childhood (0.981553): dbpedia_resource
Educational assessment and evaluation (0.847652): dbpedia_resource
High school (0.816687): dbpedia_resource
Achievement test (0.810810): dbpedia_resource
Early childhood education (0.773832): dbpedia_resource
Grade (0.758716): dbpedia_resource
Aptitude (0.755311): dbpedia_resource
Child (0.705861): dbpedia_resource

 The Developing Child
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