Journal Issue: Long-Term Outcomes Of Early Childhood Programs Volume 5 Number 3 Winter 1995
Doris R. Entwistle
A number of articles in this journal issue have documented effects of early childhood programs on children's cognitive abilities, achievement, and social adjustment as they mature to become schoolchildren, adolescents, and young adults. This article carefully considers the role that school experiences play in transmitting and sustaining the cognitive gains made by children in preschool.
The author discusses the process of schooling in the early elementary grades, focusing on how children's achievement is influenced by the expectations of parents and teachers, and by school practices such as assignment to within-class ability groups, retention in grade, and placement in special education. Because attending preschool boosts children's performance, even temporarily, it can ease their transition into first grade and reduce their exposure to negative tracking by the school and to low expectations on the part of their parents and teachers. The link between preschool and first grade is key to understanding and explaining the long-term effects of preschool.