Head Start Educating the whole body
Head Start Educating the whole body
The switch to elementary school from preschool imposes various growth related problems that demand that children engage effectively with their fellow children outside their usual family boundaries as well as adjusting to the classroom space. Initially, the Head Start program was envisaged as summer school project that would educate children from poor backgrounds for some few weeks only information that they needed to grasps before beginning their classes in an elementary school (Wasik, Bond and Hindman, 2006).
However, this program later expanded, notably through the 1981 Head Start Act. It was subjected to another revision in late 2007, and to this day, it has emerged as one of the longest-running programs that attempt to tackle the impacts of complete poverty in the country through an intervention in providing aid to children from poor backgrounds. According to Lambert, Abbott-Shim and Oxford-Wright (2001), more than 30 million children have benefitted and participated from the program. The effectiveness has been a subject of intense debate with the proponents alluding to certain obvious benefits that have been realized from the programs, while the opponents have pointed out that the outcomes from the program have been colossal failures, enough to merit its abolition.
The development of a child’s brain and the manner in which a child learns through the early years are very important for the future success. The implication of the statement above implies a closer approach to the current ways of preparing the country’s educators and policymakers with the appropriate knowledge that they need to have to develop their early individual care and the general education system. Lambert, Abbott-Shim and Oxford-Wright (2001) insists that the program is wholesomely beneficial to complete development of children.
The program has played a critical role in diverting the attention of the country on the significance of child development, and in particular, in their first five years of their lives. In a longitudinal study, the Heat Start program has lead to a high score in children in school achievement examinations, when compared to children on similar tests and did not go through the program. Further, the studies reveal that the children under the program perform better compared to their fellow peers, when they enter normal school, coupled with few grade retentions.
Children benefit from an all-round efforts as their parents are directly involved in their development. Love et al (2005) study of a large of children countrywide provided an estimate of cognitive effects on the program that ranged from 0.25 to 0.5 SD. The effects were [particularly large for sets of literacy skills and new information that were mastered and taught in a short period. Start (2006) literature review did not find any negative impacts on socio-emotional development and behavior issues and besides hyperactivity were largely reduced with a number showing a standard deviation of 0.13 to 0.18. Webster-Stratton, Reid and Hammond (2001) confirmed that the Head Start program had indeed led to a fall in mortality rates of children.
Head Start is a program launched in 1965 by the country’s Health and Human Services Department that was earmarked to provide a complete early childhood education, nutritional, parental involvement and nutrition services to children deemed to be coming from low-income families. The services of the program were developed to enhance steady family relationship and foster children emotional and physical well-being, and create a climate for the children to build their cognitive skills.
Lambert, R. G., Abbott-Shim, M., & Oxford-Wright, C. (2001). Staff perceptions of research in
the context of specific strategies for collaboration with Head Start programs. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 16(1), 19-34.
Love, J. M., Kisker, E. E., Ross, C., Raikes, H., Constantine, J., Boller, K., … & Fuligni, A. S.
(2005). The effectiveness of early head start for 3-year-old children and their parents: lessons for policy and programs. Developmental psychology, 41(6), 885.
Start, N. K. H. (2006). Response to intervention for young children with extremely challenging
behaviors: What it might look like. School Psychology Review, 35(4), 568-582.
Wasik, B. A., Bond, M. A., & Hindman, A. (2006). The effects of a language and literacy
intervention on Head Start children and teachers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(1), 63.
Webster-Stratton, C., Reid, M. J., & Hammond, M. (2001). Preventing conduct problems,
promoting social competence: A parent and teacher training partnership in Head Start. Journal of clinical child psychology, 30(3), 283-302.
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