An early years egg-and-spoon race

Filling the pail

A new paperhas been publishedby Bruce Fuller and his colleagues at Berkeley. It seems to demonstrate the advantages of taking a more academic approach to preschool education. This is no surprise. I recently reviewed a report by the Brookings Institute that came to much the same conclusion.

However, a peer-reviewed paper is always welcome and this one utilises an interesting quasi-experimental design. I don’t know enough about ‘marginal structural models’ to offer a critique but it seems like a reasonable attempt to investigate causal relationships when a true experiment would be pretty hard to conduct.

Fuller and colleagues suggest that they:

“…observe positive benefits on the average child’s cognitive proficiencies after about five to six months of attending a preschool that is academic-oriented, and these effects display stronger magnitudes than prior studies with national samples, where investigators did not focus on academic intensity, as one specific element of classroom…

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