Human development is a question of deep research and study in the contemporary society. Many specialists try to investigate different stages of human development and trace their impact on the development of human personality and character. According to the latest research, childhood education has important impact on the development of children and all their further life. In this paper, I would like to study positive impact of childhood education on the development of children. Early childhood education benefits the future of the child and makes him more successful at school and furthermore during the adult life.
Early education has a long history. Many prominent educators of the past developed their systems of this education. Such specialists as John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Johann Pestalozzi, John Dewey and Maria Montessori made researches and expressed their ideas concerning early education (Krogh & Slentz, 2010). Some of their ideas were rejected by the contemporary educational system, but many are still up to date and inspire contemporary educators. Many specialists make different researches in order to explore the impact of early education on further development of children.
It is a fact that those children, who had acquired early education, have better academic results and success. Bradley, Chazan-Cohen and Raikes made an analysis form the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation (EHSRE). In their research, they study the impact of different pre-school programs and parental education on the development of mental activities of children (Bradley et al., 2009). Data obtained in this study proves that early education of children results in the better development of their mental skills and better social adaptation. Children who have the opportunity to start their education early show better results in their further education. Family and different social structures play important role in creating necessary conditions for children to get their early education. As Leslie Calman and Linda Tarr-Whelan demonstrate in their research, early education is an important investment to the future of each separate individual same as to the future of the entire country.” Research shows that when children start school behind they stay behind. Quality early education programs give them the social, language and counting skills they need; they prepare children, especially at-risk children, for school. They make children more likely to start kindergarten ready to learn, and therefore they do better throughout school. Children who get a good start are less likely to need expensive special education classes and more likely to graduate (Calman & Tarr-Whelan, 2005, p. 11).
Today many people realize that prosperity, technological and intellectual development of the country depends on the educational level to a great extent. That is the reason many countries make education one of the main strategic goals of their state policy. Early education is a subject of special attention in the modern world. In the study called “Early Childhood Trends Around the World” Roger Neugebauer investigates the situation on early child education in different countries. Most of the world countries recognize that this kind of education is an important factor in the contemporary educational system and realize its importance. Regardless of the economic development and political system, most countries of the contemporary world pay great attention to the educational system in general and early child education in particular. As Liana Ghent from International Step by Step Association stated: ”Under the educational system of former communist countries, the care and teaching of children 0-7 years was a service provided by governments in kindergarten, financed and run by the state or by big enterprises” (Neugebauer, 2007, p. 58). In some countries, pre-school education is compulsory. And definitely this approach will show all its benefits in the future. Many countries realize that early childhood education has a direct impact on the economical development of their countries. For example, Betsy van de Grift, from Amsterdam, Netherlands in her report underlines: “The government considers child care as an integral and essential part of economic growth” (Neugebauer, 2007, p. 58). Many other countries mentioned in the report speak about the great role of early childhood education in their countries. Unfortunately, there are negative examples of the countries which pay little attention to the child education. The representatives of these countries realize possible problems that may arise due to such attitude to early education of children. For example, the Italian representative, mentioned in the report by Neugebauer speaks about the problems with education in her country. In her answer she speaks about: “poor image of the child; children seem as empty containers to be filled by low profile of teachers’ professional development” and underlines that these factors have extremely negative impact on the economical and cultural development of her country (Neugebauer, 2007, p. 59). All these facts underline the importance of the problem of early childhood education in the scope of the country.
Fortunately, the U.S. officials understand the importance of early education. Now most of the states of the country have developed early learning standards and they gradually implement them in life. As shows the research, performed by Scott-Little, Lesko, Martella and Milburn: “Results from the survey indicate that the trend toward developing and implementing early learning standards has continued. Forty-nine states plus the District of Columbia had developed prekindergarten early learning standards, and the one remaining state (North Dakota) was in the process of developing standards” (Scott-Little et al, 2007). The development of early learning standards illustrates that the government realizes the importance of early education and it pays necessary time and effort in order to provide opportunities for this education.
In our paper we have proved the various positive effects of early education. Not only simple academic performance and success depends on it, but also the economic development and prosperity of the country as a whole. The question of early education should be investigated and controlled on the state level because it has an extremely important impact on the economy, social structure and cultural level of different countries.
Bradley, R. H. & Chazan-Cohen, R. & Raikes, H. (2009). The Impact of Early Head Start on School Readiness: New Looks. Early Education & Development, 20(6), 883-892.
Krogh, S.L. & Slentz, K.L. (2010). Early Childhood Education: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. Taylor & Francis.
Lee, Y. & Hayden, M. (2009). Early Childhood Care and Education: Worldwide Challenges and Progresses. Current Issues in Comparative Education, 11, 3-5.
Neugebauer, R. (2007). Early Childhood Trends Around the World. Exchange, 13 (5-6), 58-68.
Scott-Little, C. & Lesko, J. & Martella, J. & Milburn, P. (2007). Early Learning Standards: Results from a National Survey to Document Trends in State-Level Policies and Practices. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 9 (1). Available from http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v9n1/little.html, accessed at April 2, 2011.