In a pair of companion papers recently released, pioneering University of Chicago economist James Heckman found that the children of those who participated in a landmark 1960s study of high-quality early childhood education still saw improvements in education, health and employment. The children saw such benefits without participating in the same preschool program as their parents—suggesting that early education can contribute to lasting upward mobility and help break cycles of poverty. Heckman said the new papers offer more evidence that successful early education programs hinge on engaging with children and building social and emotional skills. Fostering those sorts of environments, he said, can lead to better life outcomes than trying to measure cognitive improvements. He added, however, that his research should push policymakers not toward universal pre-K programs, but to design interventions tailored to populations that are most in need and stand to benefit the most.
SOURCE: Jack Wang. “Preschool education can benefit generations of families” UChicago News, 14 May 2019.
- The Perry Preschoolers at Late Midlife: A Study in Design-Specific Inference, James J. Heckman and Ganesh Karapakula, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 25888, May 2019.
- Intergenerational and Intragenerational Externalities of the Perry Preschool Project, James J. Heckman and Ganesh Karapakula, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 25889, May 2019.
Links to publisher websites above [all articles listed here are open access @ 14 June 2019]
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia