We are excited to have Peter Loft, Incredible Years Certified Trainer, guest blogging for us today! Peter provides a response to an article published in the New York Times (October 27th) which discusses the importance of early childhood education as a means to address economic inequality, poverty and crime in the United States.
Response to “Do We Invest in Preschools or Prisons?” (written by Nicolas Kristof)
By: Peter Loft, MSW
New York Times’ Op-Ed article, “Do we Invest in Preschools or Prisons?” by Nicolas Kristoff (published Sunday, Oct. 27th, 2013) is a good read. He makes a compelling case for early child education, and emphasizes actually working with families much younger than preschool is the way to go! He also refers to the ground breaking research by Hart and Risley, on the importance of verbal interaction with adults for young children, as having a significant correlation towards better academic outcomes and life skills over time. For those interested in learning more about Hart & Risley’s research, you can click here for the original article (published 1968) or you can view a more recent article which was published online earlier this year.
I reflect back on 20 years of Incredible Years and love the fact that all of our programs include a huge emphasis on dialogic reading in age appropriate ways, and descriptive commenting focusing on academic, persistence, social and emotional competence. It is a great reminder to us all that the simple ongoing strategies are often some of the most powerful ones we can offer to families, teachers, and caregivers everywhere.