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Ppt John Bennett, Researcher of the Innocenti Report Card 8 on the importance of the early childhood.

Ppt John Bennett, Researcher of the Innocenti Report Card 8 on the importance of the early childhood.

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  • 1. Table ronde L’accueil et l’éducation de la petite enfance: Un levier pour réduire les inégalités des chances? Ronde tafel Kinderopvang en kleuteronderwijs: Een hefboom voor het milderen van ongelijke levenskansen? 11 mars/maart 2009 Salle des Congrès – Congreszaal Avec la collaboration de – in samenwerking met
  • 2. For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com The importance of the early years in the human development cycle Dr. John Bennett Senior researcher for the OECD Starting Strong Network
  • 3. Contents of the presentation
    • Part I – What the scientific evidence says about the early years
      • The neurosciences
      • The economic evidence
      • The education sciences
    • Part II – How might countries respond
      • Reduce child poverty and ensure equitable educational outcomes for children at-risk
      • Provide better quality in existing services
        • Refuse the vocabulary of child care, child minding…
        • Turn back the century old tradition of ‘schoolification’
    For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com
  • 4. Part I What the scientific evidence says For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com
  • 5. 0 1 4 8 12 16 AGE Human Brain Development – Synapse Formation The years from birth – to – three are an optimal time to support language and cognitive growth Sensing Pathways (vision, hearing) Language Higher Cognitive Function 3 6 9 -3 -6 Months Years C. Nelson, in From Neurons to Neighborhoods , 2000 Conception For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com
  • 6. The risk of irreversibility in early childhood if the environment fails to reinforce the genetic disposition
    • Sensing pathways - : infant cataracts… infant middle-ear infection…
    • Socio-emotional development – the Romanian orphans
    • Cognitive development – the higher order functions, such as reasoning, conservation, concept and vocabulary building, etc. develop more slowly… but note the ‘window’ for language development and the language deficit of excluded children
    For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com
  • 7. Language and Vocabulary Growth – First 3 Years Source: B.Hart & T. Risley. Meaningful Differences in Everyday Experiences of Young American Children, 1995 (Reference: Mary Young, World Bank) For comments: [email_address] High SES Middle SES Low SES 1200 600 0 12 16 20 24 26 32 36 Vocabulary Age- Months
  • 8. Ignoring the neuroscience research
    • Many European countries do not give sufficient attention to early childhood as the foundation stage of human development…;
    • In particular, pre- and post-natal services may not be easily accessible to low-income families
    • Parental care (opportunities to breast feed), and the avoidance of stress in infancy may not be given due importance
    • The importance of touching and verbal interaction with infants and toddlers may be overlooked
    For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com
  • 9. The economic research
    • Economic ‘returns’ analyses are driven essentially by the avoidance of negative consequences:
      • Criminal activity – especially when linked to a culture
      • Lower academic achievement (including lack of concentration and aggressiveness)
      • Teenage pregnancy and delinquency
      • Poor psychological well-being
      • Poor peer relationships
      • Unemployment or the inability to hold a job
    • Children from low-income SES groups are more likely to have poorer health outcomes; a prevalence to illness; mental health problems; longer illnesses; longer hospitalisations; more delinquency; longer terms of unemployment …
    For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com
  • 10. Heckman’s curve - Rates of return to human capital investments across all ages: in addition, 0-3 investment pays in terms of labour market, job creation, enlarged tax base… For comments: [email_address] and their families
  • 11. The education evidence
    • Education evidence comes from a score of countries
    • Professor Brooks-Gunn, Columbia University, confirmed before the US Senate that:
      • High quality programmes improve the school outcomes and behaviour of most young children.
      • Effects are strongest for poor children and for children whose parents have little education.
      • Positive benefits continue into late elementary school and high school years, although effects are smaller than they were at the beginning of elementary school.
      • Programmes that are continued into primary school, include parents and offer intensive early intervention, have the most sustained long-term effects.
    For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com
  • 12. The pattern of US (and most other countries!) education investment For comments: [email_address]
  • 13. Part II How might countries respond? For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com
  • 14. Reduce child poverty - child poverty in OECD countries, c. 2005 For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com
  • 15. Access of low-income children to care services in Flanders (Source: Kind en Gezin, Child in Flanders, 2006 ) For comments: [email_address]
  • 16. The PISA findings for Belgium
    • Ensure equitable educational outcomes for children at-risk
      • “ 13% of 15-year-old students in Belgium have an immigrant background, compared to 9.3% across the OECD. Generally, these students lag considerably behind. In Belgium, first-generation immigrant students – that is, students who are born outside the country of assessment and who also have foreign-born parents – lag 93 score points behind their native counterparts, a sizeable difference considering that 38 score points are roughly equivalent to a school year’s difference. This performance lag compares to the OECD average (58 score points)… Unlike, for example, Switzerland, a similar picture emerges for second-generation immigrant students.” PISA, 2007)
    For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com
  • 17. Provide better quality in existing early childhood services
    • Refuse the vocabulary of child care, child minding … a losing concept that does not correspond to the neuroscience evidence which points to foundations:
      • Health, well-being and motor development
      • Social and emotional development, including learning to live together, participation… To support the competent child requires positive approaches to the child’s natural learning strategies, to autonomous learning , to parental inputs…
      • Language development and emergent literacy
      • Cognitive development and general knowledge
    • Turn back the tradition of ‘schoolification’ , that is, organising the pre-school along primary school lines: excluding parents; high child:staff ratios (unsuited to children from excluded backgrounds); lack of a ‘fit-for-purpose’ training; inadequate curricula and pedagogies…
    For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com
  • 18. Thank you! For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com