As the Twig Is Bent--Lasting Effects of Preschool Programs

By Consortium for Longitudinal Studies. | Go to book overview

desired maternal behavior can be successfully modeled in the Program. The best evidence derived from this program (as well as from other programs discussed in this volume) indicates short-term effects on IQ. The data also provide at least a partial basis for predicting long-term effects of the MCHP on school performance.

It is a reflection of the obduracy of social problems that a program continues to be needed to assist parents in helping their very young children to take full advantage of later educational opportunities. The Superintendant of the Chicago schools, Dr. Ruth Love, recently stated: "If we could get parents to read to their little children 15 minutes a day, we could revolutionize the schools [ Hechinger, 1981, p. C5]."

Fifteen years ago, the Verbal Interaction Project developed the Mother-Child Home Program mainly to accomplish this simple purpose. The overriding goal was not to revolutionize the schools but to help families take best advantage of whatever public schools can offer. Above all, the program's purpose was to support low-income families in the cognitive and emotional socialization of their preschool children. Needless to say, this family function had long preceded the very existence of schools in any society. The necessity for supporting it will continue as long as poverty is with us and families continue to be society's most fundamental socializing unit.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Supported for development and research of the Mother-Child Home Program by Marion R. Ascoli Fund; Carnegie Corporation of New York; Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of HEW; Education Commission of the States; Foundation for Child Development; General Mills Foundation; Grant Foundation; National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of HEW; Administration for Children, Youth, and Families; North Shore Unitarian Society Veatch Program; Rockefeller Brothers Fund; and Surdna Foundation; and for research of the dissemination of the program by Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the U.S. Office of Education.


REFERENCES

Bronfenbrenner U. "Early deprivation: A cross-species analysis". In G. Newton & S. Levine, (Eds.), Early experience and behavior. Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas, 1968.

Bronfenbrenner U. Is early intervention effective? Office of Child Development, U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, & Welfare, 1974.

Brown R. Words and things. Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1958.

Bruner J. S. "The course of cognitive growth". American Psychologist, 1964, 19, 1-15.

Campbell D. T., & Frey P. W. The implications of learning theory for the fade-out of gains from compensatory education. In J. Hellmuth (Ed.), Disadvantaged child. (Vol. 3). New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1970.

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