Saturday, June 14, 2014

The importance of early childhood enrichment: As we leave our children behind ...

What is intelligence?  That's too big a question for a scientist, but that's the one that lured me as an undergraduate to the study of psychology, and particularly to the study of the effects of early experience on intellectual and emotional development.  I read about the post-World War II orphanage studies; infants left in their cribs without much human contact appeared listless and developmentally impaired.  Other species, I learned, like monkeys and rats, also show harmful effects of impoverished early environments.  It should then be no surprise that as early as kindergarten children raised in poverty perform poorly on various intellectual measures.  What is surprising revolting is that the richest nation on earth is so accepting of that state of affairs.  These children will grow up being less effective at learning and earning and thus perpetuate poverty. For them the American dream is unrecognizable.  Check out the results of the kindergarten report from Vox.com.

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