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NOTEBOOK – ONE GOOD READ: A top researcher says it’s time to rethink our entire approach to preschool


A researcher at Vanderbilt University who has been studying early childhood education for decades recently made some discoveries that have caused her to question everything she thought she knew, as this story by NPR details. The study, which followed nearly 3,000 Tennessee schoolchildren for more than a decade, found that low-income students who attended pre-K programs fared worse academically in later grades than the control group of students who didn’t attend. Her most recent scientific publication — believed to be the only randomized controlled trial of a statewide pre-K program, has made her question everything she thought she knew. “It really has required a lot of soul-searching, a lot of reading of the literature to try to think of what were plausible reasons that might account for this,” said Dale Farran, an emerita professor at Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. What she believes went wrong makes for an intriguing read.

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