...And a Child With High Genetic Potential Plus Good Training Does Even Better Still . . . .
..."So a child who has a good home learning environment, good preschool and good primary school will do better than a child with only two who will do better than a child who has one who will do better than a child who has none of these.... _TelegraphEveryone wants superior children, but no one seems to be willing to do anything to help bring them about. Bright mothers with good educations tend to have bright and capable children, relatively speaking. Sadly, society increasingly tries to shunt bright women away from motherhood, as if mothers cannot also succeed in other areas. Anyway, a University of London project looking at the effect of quality pre-school education suggests that the formative pre-school years of a child are very important to his future cognitive capacity.
Ten-year-olds who have attended "high quality" preschool tend to score higher on mathematics tests than those who haven't, reports Prof Edward Melhuish of Birkbeck, University of London, and colleagues from the Effective provision of Preschool and Primary Education (EPPE) project.Parents make the difference in the child's future life. From the genes, to the intrauterine environment, to early childhood and beyond, parents lay the foundation. Then parents hand children to schools, which may or may not care what happens to the child from then on.
He said they were surprised by the degree to which early experience both in the preschool and home were so influential later in the child's life.
"For the average child who went to a particularly effective or high quality preschool their maths scores would be boosted by around 27 per cent," says Prof Melhuish.
However, the project revealed that the education of the parents - particularly the mother- still has the greatest influence, having twice the effect and thus boosting maths scores even more.
What parents did at home mattered too. "The effects of the early home learning environment were very strong, much stronger than people had anticipated."
"An ideal home learning environment would be rich in stimulation and very responsive to the child's communications and activities," says Prof Melhuish.
"Parents would talk to their children frequently, read to them, maybe visit library to increase range of books for child, provide opportunities to draw, paint, learn songs and rhymes, dance and physical activities, play with numbers and shapes.
As is seen in population groups where up to 70% of children are born out of wedlock, the results of a childhood without caring and resourceful parents can be stark indeed.