The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Intervention: better earlier > Comments

Intervention: better earlier : Comments

By Andrew Leigh, published 26/7/2007

The cycle of disadvantage has proven agonisingly hard to break but a promising solution could be high-impact early childhood intervention programs.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. All
This is the best article I've seen on OLO.

Education is investment, and it behaves like any other investment: start saving early and keep it up, and you will see the benefits in compound interest. And because of the way the human brain grows, the interest rate is much higher in the earlier years than later on! Early-childhood education is worth an order of magnitude more to society than university education; but it is a very low priority.

The children of dedicated, intelligent and encouraging parents will practically teach themselves (in school and for life) because of the good early start they have had; whereas if the home environment has not been stimulating, kids will find themselves at a loss later on. Not to deny the existence of genetically-inherited intelligence (conclusively demonstrated in twin studies) but the effects of good nurturing are often underestmated.

Informed professionalism on the part of early-childhood educators and (even earlier) community nurses can be invaluable here -- often children will find themselves with a long-term disadvantage because of a learning difficulty (such as deafness or dyslexia) which need not have held them back at all if it had been understood and compensated for (or, where possible, corrected) in the early years.

I do not mean to encourage excessive "hothousing" on the part of ambitious parents; it may or may not be successful but I fear it also has deleterious effects.

I do believe children should be showered with affection, given confidence in themselves, constructively engaged, and rewarded with real answers for their innate curiosity.

BTW my favourite real answer is "I don't know, let's look it up!".
Posted by xoddam, Thursday, 26 July 2007 11:37:46 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
I agree. An excellent article yet so far only one post whereas there are many, some of them piffle, on global warming. Global warming is not the real problem, resourse depletion is.
As one who has provided food and other help to destitute children and felt the wrath of an Education Department as a consequence I know that the attitude of many has to change before much will be accomplished. DOCs and the Education Departments seem to believe that a parent owns a child. They don't, the child has substantial rights of his or her own. The principal right is the right to the same opportunities as any other child in their society.
An incompetent parent should not be able to refuse assistance which would be of benefit to a disadvantaged child. How could that be achieved? I would like some suggestions
Posted by Foyle, Thursday, 26 July 2007 3:40:10 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
While the author touched on Indigenous communities (and the media attention they have recently received) when it comes to early childhood education, the remainder of the Indigenous population also fall behind the non-Indigenous population. For example, according to the 2001 Census, 31% of Indigenous 4-5 year olds are attending neither Infants or pre-school. For non-Indigenous 4-5 year olds, the corresponding figure is only 23%. Hopefully some of this gap has been closed in the intervening years, but we’ll have to wait till more of the 2006 Census data is released to know for sure.

A lot of this difference can be explained by family and household circumstances. However, a large part of the difference is also explained by the low proportion of preschool workers who are themselves Indigenous. Those Indigenous children who live in areas with an Indigenous preschool worker have roughly the same probability of attending preschool as a similar non-Indigenous child.

These findings were based on my own analysis of the 2001 Census with more details here:

This reliance on cross-sectional data of course highlights another of the author’s key points. That is, the lack of high impact interventions into early childhood *education* for the Indigenous population relative to the type of interventions that are currently being rolled out in the Northern Territory. More importantly, any interventions that have occurred have not had anywhere near the level of evaluation that the Perry Preschool program has had in the US
Posted by Nicholas Biddle, Thursday, 26 July 2007 7:01:27 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
"Infrastructure. Access to Basic Needs for ALL!

A call from Cooktown and Cape York.

Australian's are good at blaming those disadvantaged when it comes to social ills. Yet what about LA21 and some resource infrastructure.

We need to take reponsibility for the world we create.

The role of the "family economy" (for many) has (almost completely) dissolved... the role of community 'to solve its own problems' shrinks daily ... yet the pressure of new policies impact people everywhere making it even harder to inter-relate socially or politically with true openness & or ease.

Culture's everywhere need to be better understood and real participation needs to be made more inclusive at ALL civic levels.

Real development is being steam-rolled by "willfulness".

ie: a) Iraq: We went in with 'force' without a development plan... b) the NT Federal Aboriginal strategy. We went in with 'force' without a development plan... c) the Centerlink PSP program, Disablities, Mental Health, the Aging population, and general Youth inititives, especially in the light of the 2006 new 'back to work' Welfare Laws and related Economic strategies... all seem lop-sided... without the allocation of ground level development resources.

There is too much unaccountablity, cultural-resource allocation and servicing provisions-poor planning in development.

This is putting the continuing burden of invisablity onto those who may otherwise be doing better for themselves in the light of current affirmations of Australias progress. (A progress based on STRAIN AND STRESS) see Don Weatherburn "Law and Order in Australia" and "Delinquent-prone communities"...on household disturbance.

Administrations everywhere need reform. Integration and service resource linkages need to be SHARED and ownership needs to include civillians who have much of the greater knowledge, given they are to benifit from the intended administrative resource and development strategies being targeted AT them.

Australia has the knowledge we just need to CHOOSE to LISTEN, to SHARE and to ACT.

ie: See '23 Big Things' in Mental Health... this paradigm is real and a example suggestive for a broader population, if we consider the importance of a "no wrong door" planning and development policy.
Posted by miacat, Thursday, 26 July 2007 11:20:00 PM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy