Extend the Learning
Great preschools embrace a focus on
the whole child, respect the unique
characteristics of individual children
and families, and are guided by the
principles of child development and a
scientific approach toward what works
in the classroom. Put into practice,
these premises are providing education
leaders with the research-based evidence they need to push back against
the constant pressure to teach young
children in the early grades with
methods better suited for older children.
Educators, be aware! Young students—from low-income families or
not—who have had a great preschool
experience are much more likely to
enter kindergarten confidently and joyfully, ready to learn and expecting to
play an active part in an engaging educational conversation. Teachers must
be ready for these students—ready to
provide the kinds of classroom experiences that will support and extend that
Barnett, W. S. (2011). Effectiveness of early
educational intervention. Science, 333,
Barnett, W. S., Jung, K., Frede, E., Hustedt,
J., & Howes, C. (2011). Effects of eight
state prekindergarten programs on early
learning. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers
University, National Institute for Early
Barnett, W. S., & Masse, L. N. (2007). Early
childhood program design and economic
returns: Comparative benefit-cost analysis
of the Abecedarian program and policy
implications. Economics of Education
Review, 26, 113–125.
Belfield, C. (2004). Early childhood education:
How important are the cost-savings to the
school system? New York: Teachers College
Bohan-Baker, M., & Little, P. M. D. (2002).
The transition to kindergarten: A review of
current research and promising practices to
involve parents. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
Family Research Project.
Burchinal, M., McCartney, K., Steinberg, L.,
Crosnoe, R., Friedman, S. L., McLoyd, V.,
et al. (2011). Examining the black–white
achievement gap among low-income
children using the NICHD Study of Early
Child Care and Youth Development. Child
Development, 82( 5), 1404–1420.
Campbell, F. A., & Ramey, C. T. (2010).
Carolina Abecedarian project. In A. J.
Reynolds, A. J. Rolnick, M. M. Englund,
& J. A. Temple (Eds.), Childhood programs
and practices in the first decade of life: A
human capital integration (pp. 76–98).
New York: Cambridge University Press.
Campbell, F. A., Ramey, C. T., Pungello,
E. P., Sparling, J. J., & Miller-Johnson,
S. (2002). Early childhood education:
Young adult outcomes from the Abecedarian project. Applied Developmental
Science, 6, 42–57.
Currie, J., & Neidell, M. (2007). Getting
inside the “black box” of Head Start
quality: What matters and what doesn’t.
Economics of Education Review, 26, 83–99.
Duncan, G. J., & Magnuson, K. (2005). Can
family socioeconomic resources account
for racial and ethnic test score gaps? The
Future of Children, 15, 35–52.
Frede, E. C., & Barnett, W. S. (2011). New
Jersey’s Abbott pre-K program: A model
for the nation. In E. Zigler, W. Gilliam,
& W. S. Barnett (Eds.), The pre-K debates:
current controversies and issues (pp. 191–
196). Baltimore: Brookes.
Frede, E., Jung, K., Barnett, W. S., &
Figueras, A. (2009). The APPLES Blossom:
Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal
Effects Study (APPLES) preliminary results
through 2nd grade. New Brunswick, NJ:
National Institute for Early Education
Halle, T., Forry, N., Hair, E., Perper,
K., Wandner, L., Wessel, J., & Vick,
J. (2009). Disparities in early learning
and development: Lessons from the Early
Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort
(ECLS–B). Washington, DC: Child
Heckman, J., Malofeeva, E., Pinto, R., &
Savelyev, P. (2010, June). Understanding
the mechanisms through which an influential
early childhood program boosted adult
outcomes. Presentation at the Measuring
Education Outcomes: Moving from
Enrollment to Learning Conference,
Brookings Institution, Washington, DC.
Lamy, C. (2012). Poverty is a knot and
preschool is an untangler. In R. C.
Pianta, W. S. Barnett, L. M. Justice, &
S. M. Sheridan (Eds.), Handbook of early
childhood education (pp. 158–174). New
Lee, V., & Burkham, D. (2002). Inequality
at the starting gate: Social background differences in achievement as children begin
school. Washington, DC: Economic Policy
Puma, M., Bell, S., Cook, R., Heid, C.,
Broene, P., Jenkins, F., et al. (2012). Third
grade follow-up to the Head Start impact
study final report. Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Planning, Research and
Evaluation, Administration for Children
Reynolds, A. J., Magnuson, K. A., & Ou,
S. (2009). Preschool-to-third grade programs and practices: A review of research.
Children and Youth Services Review, 32( 8),
Reynolds, A. J., Temple, J. A., & Ou, S.
(2010). Impacts and implications of
the Child-Parent Center preschool
program. In A. J. Reynolds, A. J. Rolnick,
M. M. Englund, & J. A. Temple (Eds.),
Childhood programs and practices in the first
decade of life: A human capital integration
(pp. 168–187). New York: Cambridge
Sadowski, M. (2006). Core knowledge for
PK– 3 teaching: Ten components of effective
instruction. New York: Foundation for
Schweinhart, L., Monti, J., Xiang, Z.,
Barnett, W. S., Belfield, C. & Nores,
M. (2005). Lifetime effects: The High/
Scope Perry Preschool study through age 40
(Monographs of the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, Number 14).
Ypsilanti, MI: High/Scope Press.
Cynthia E. Lamy ( email@example.com)
is metrics manager for the Robin Hood
Foundation in New York, New York. She
is the author of American Children in
Chronic Poverty: Complex Risks, Benefit-Cost Analyses, and Untangling the Knot
(Lexington Books, 2012).