The preschool myth that is holding children back

Filling the pail

From time-to-time, someone will claim that any kind of formal instruction in preschool is damaging for children. One such article has been doing the rounds since 2015 and seems to be quite popular on Twitter. The evidence it draws upon comes largely from a set of studies based upon the High/Scope preschool curriculum. Look out for these studies because they are often at the root of such claims and, in my view, they are deeply flawed.

It was therefore interesting to read a sober and authoritative review of the evidence on preschool programs produced by The Brookings Institute in the U.S. (thanks to @AlecMahony for the tip). Chapter 4 of this report compares the different kinds of preschool curricula that students follow in Pre-K and Headstart. Pre-K is the year of preschool directly prior to starting school proper and Headstart is a specific kind of Pre-K that is federally funded and…

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