who are exposed to advanced content in math or reading perform better at
elementary school later on, finds a new study. This improvement is regardless
of the economic background of the child.
teachers who cling
on to teaching basic content alone are hence,
unknowingly, restricting the potential of their kids. Amy Claessens, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Chicago
University's Harris School of Public Policy Studies, who led the team, based
her research on data acquired from the Early
Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS).
The ECLS programme examines child
development, school readiness, and early school experiences.
found that 4 or more days per month of exposure to challenging math
and reading was linked to better scholastic performance in elementary school.
Children exposed to just the basic content did not get this benefit; their
peers performed much better. The interesting fact is that, the positive
benefits were seen in children irrespective of the economic status, even kids
from low-income households reap excellence.
could increase their time on advanced content while reducing time on basic
content, without the need to increase overall instructional time, and do so in
a developmentally appropriate way for young kids," reports Prof.
Claessens. She says that rather than lengthening duration of school
stay or reducing the strength of classes, it is easier to challenge kindergarten children with more advanced
content so as to boost academic performance.
"At a time when education programs are facing budget
constraints, this is a more viable option," she added. The fact remains true
regardless of whether kids attended preschool
, or began KG with more
findings were published in the American Educational Research Journal
. This study may be one of the first of its kind, since few
studies before had ventured to examine the relationship between academic
content coverage in kindergarten
and student achievement.
In the light of these new findings, it is time to redesign
our policies with regards to kindergarten curriculum. We need to evaluate if
the changes are applicable to our set up. A developing nation like India is
sure to gain benefits since the incorporation of the new idea can only make
things easier and cut short our expenses. Let us hope that similar studies are
soon conducted in our environment.
Educational Research Journal