Early childhood education: It's long-term impact on social competence
A majority of support for early childhood interventions comes from the strong evidence of the positive impact of rigorous evaluations of three comprehensive programs: the Abecedarian project, High Scope Perry Preschool, and the Chicago Child-Parent Centers (Issacs, 2008). There has been no major study of the long-term impact of preschool education since the 1970s. Thus, the purpose of the following study was to look at graduates from The Opportunity Project (TOP) program, a current preschool program in Wichita, Kansas and follow them through their first two years of school in the Derby USD 260 system. The study addressed social interactions of emotional maturity, social competence, and behavioral competence. The findings indicated that TOP second graders had the highest scores in all three areas. This indicated that second graders used behavior competence, social competence, and emotional maturity skills more than 75 percent of the time. The study also assessed teacher ratings of TOP graduates rank on social skills compared to other children in the classes. The findings show that the difference between TOP graduates and the rest of the class is significant for second graders in behavioral competence, social competence, and emotional maturity scores. This study found that these data begin to indicate a positive difference in social skills in program children than non-program children.
Thesis (M.Ed.)--Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Counseling, Educational and School Psychology