Participation for all - waiting until school entry is too late - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Title: Participation for all - waiting until school entry is too late


1
Participation for all - waiting until school
entry is too late
  • 2008 Curriculum Association Conference
  • Melbourne, November 10, 2008
  • Professor Frank Oberklaid
  • Director, Centre for Community Child Health
  • Royal Childrens Hospital Melbourne

2
Outline of presentation
  • Brain development research - the science tells us
    that the early years are critical in shaping a
    childs future learning and behaviour
  • Life course research - what happens in the early
    years has consequences right through the life
    course into adult life
  • For many children, the developmental trajectory
    is set before they start school - Australian data
    show that many children are already in trouble or
    vulnerable at school entry
  • The participation agenda has to begin in the
    early years, well before children start school

3
The importance of skills in the modern economy
  • A large body of researchshows that skill
    begets skill that learning begets learning. The
    earlier the seed is planted and watered, the
    faster and larger it grows. Environments that do
    not stimulate the young and fail to cultivate
    both cognitive and non-cognitive skills place
    children at an early disadvantage.
  • (James Heckman, 2006)

4
The importance of skills in the modern economy
  • Once a child falls behind, he or she is
    likely to remain behind. Remediation for
    impoverished early environments become
    progressively more costly the later it is
    attempted in the life cycle of the child. The
    track record for criminal rehabilitation, adult
    literacy and late teenage public job training
    programs is remarkably poorImpoverished early
    environments are powerful predictors of adult
    failure on a number of social and economic
    dimensions.
  • (James Heckman, 2006)

5
Ability gaps open early in life
  • Ability gaps between advantaged and other
    children open up early before schooling
    begins.Conventional school based policies start
    too late to completely remedy early deficits,
    although they can do some good. Children who
    start ahead keep accelerating past their peers,
    widening the gapEarly advantages accumulate, so
    do early disadvantagesThe best way to improve
    the schools is to improve the early environments
    of the children sent to them. (Heckman J.
    Masterov DV, 2005)

6
The research
  • 3 research themes
  • Brain development
  • Life course
  • Economics of human capital formation
  • 3 research disciplines
  • Neuroscience
  • Developmental psychology
  • Economics
  • Multitude of published studies by researchers
    from varied professional/disciplinary backgrounds

7
What the research tells us
  • The early years of a childs life are critical in
    impacting on a range of outcomes through the life
    course
  • The environment experienced by a young child
    literally sculpts the brain and establishes the
    trajectory for long term cognitive and
    social-emotional outcomes
  • If we want to improve outcomes in school and in
    adult life we have to focus on the early years -
    this has profound implications for public policy
  • Investing in early childhood is a sound economic
    investment (the best investment society can
    make)

8
Neuroscience of brain development
  • Brain is not mature at birth (cf other species)
  • The brain organises itself through the
    interaction of genes responding to the local
    environment - a dance between biology and
    experience, between nature and nurture
  • Brain is changed by experiences
  • The quality of the relationships a young child
    has with caregivers programs social-emotional
    function
  • Adversity impacts on brain development

9
(No Transcript)
10
(No Transcript)
11
(No Transcript)
12
Brains are built over time
  • Brain architecture and skills are built in a
    hierarchical bottom-up sequence
  • Foundations important - higher level circuits
    that process complex information are built on
    lower level circuits that process basic
    information
  • Skills beget skills - the development of higher
    order skills is much more difficult if the lower
    level circuits are not wired properly
  • Plasticity of the brain decreases over time and
    brain circuits stabilise, so it is much harder to
    alter later
  • There is constant pruning of circuits that are
    not used
  • It is biologically and economically more
    efficient to get it right the first time

13
Human brain development - synapse formation
Language
Sensing Pathways (vision, hearing)
Higher Cognitive Function
Conception
-6
-3
0
3
6
9
1
4
8
12
16
Months
Years
AGE
C. Nelson, in From Neurons to Neighborhoods, 2000.
14
The importance of relationships
  • Nurturing and responsive relationships build
    healthy brain architecture that provides a strong
    foundation for learning, behaviour and health
  • The relationships a young child has with their
    caregiver(s) literally sculpts the brain and
    determines the development of circuits
  • When protective relationships are not provided,
    levels of stress hormones increase - this impairs
    cell growth, interferes with formation of healthy
    neural circuits, and disrupts brain architecture

15
Adversity
  • Research on the biology of stress in early
    childhood helps explain some of the underlying
    reasons for differences in learning, behaviour
    and physical and mental health
  • Any adversity or stress that impacts on the
    parents may affect their relationship with their
    young child and thus has the potential to have a
    negative impact on brain development - e.g.
    effects of rapid social change

16
Disordered brain circuits
  • Problems in childhood
  • Beginning of pathways to problems later in life
  • Evidence that many problems in adult life have
    their origins in pathways that begin in childhood

17
Worrying problems in childhood
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • School readiness - many children vulnerable
  • Poor literacy and school achievement
  • Mental health problems - ADHD, conduct disorders,
    aggressive and anti-social behaviour
  • Obesity

18
Even more worrying problems in adult life
  • Mental health problems
  • Family violence and aggressive/anti-social
    behaviour
  • Crime
  • Poor literacy - skills shortages
  • Welfare dependency
  • Substance abuse
  • Obesity and its associations

19
The developmental trajectory and life course
Outcome
Risk factors
Protective factors
Age
20
Risk and protective factors
  • Child
  • Parents
  • Parenting style
  • Family environment
  • Community and cultural
  • School
  • Life events

21
Risk and protective factors
Risk Factors Child Family Community School
Protective Factors Child Family Community School
Outcome
Negative vulnerability
Positive resilience
22
Poverty and health (0-3 years)
  • Less likely to
  • Be breast fed
  • Be fully immunised
  • Receive well child care
  • Have regular and consistent access to health
    services
  • More likely to have
  • Low birth weight
  • Developmental delay
  • Higher incidence of SIDS
  • Higher injury rate
  • Suboptimal growth
  • More frequent hospitalisations
  • Behavioural disorders

23
Vocabulary growth - first 3 years
Vocabulary
High SES
1200
Middle SES
600
Low SES
0
12
16
20
24
28
32
36
Age - Months
B Hart T Risley 1995
24
Making a difference
  • Address risk factors and emerging difficulties
    before they become entrenched problems
  • Goal is to diminish or remove risk factors and
    strengthen protective factors, so improving
    chances of good outcome
  • The earlier the better - more leverage in younger
    years

25
Intervention effects and costs of
social-emotional mental health problems over time
(Bricker)
High
Cost
Intervention effectiveness
Low
Time
26
Rates of return to human development - Investment
across all ages
8
Pre-school Programs
6
School
Return Per Invested
4
R
Job Training
2
Pre-School
School
Post School
0
6
18
Age
Pedro Carneiro, James Heckman, Human Capital
Policy, 2003
27
Cost benefit analysis
  • In contrast to significant benefits from
    model preschool interventions, later remediation
    efforts have been shown to be consistently less
    effective. School age remedial programshave a
    poor record of success. Similarly public job
    training programs, adult literacy services,
    prisoner rehabilitation serviceshave yielded low
    economic returns. Such investments are purely
    political and not supported by any worthwhile
    research.
  • - Knudsen EI, Heckman JJ, Cameron JL,
    Shonkoff JP (2006)
  • Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences

28
Implications for policy
  • Positive relationships and quality learning
    experiences are pivotal to brain development -
    this promotes cognitive, language, social and
    emotional development
  • Resources need to be focused on providing parent
    information, family support, and high quality
    early learning and care settings for ALL children
    - universal services
  • Targeted services for at risk children and
    families who have additional needs that go
    beyond the universal services
  • The research is clear that attempts at later
    remediation are less effective (and cost
    effective) than prevention

29
Implications of the science of early childhood
  • Parents and families
  • Communities and the built environment
  • Child care
  • Education
  • Child protection system
  • Services
  • Business
  • Media
  • An expanded view of building infrastructure

30
Child care
  • Early learning environment - not child minding
  • Reconceptualise the critical period 0-5 years and
    merge child care and preschool into high quality
    learning environments
  • Provide universal access to all children,
    especially disadvantaged - cost and availability
    should not be a barrier
  • Quality vital - staff ratios, physical amenities,
    and especially expertise of caregivers

31
Education
  • Education begins at birth, not when children
    start school - remove distinction between child
    care and preschool
  • Match early learning opportunities to needs of
    children and families (what is rationale for 4
    preschool sessions per week?)
  • Major investment in physical facilities and
    re-design of teacher education
  • Schools as core social centres linked closely
    with their communities
  • Schools linked to early years services

32
Reconceptualise school readiness
  • Children ready for school schools ready for
    children communities that support ECD
  • Need to do a lot of work in all 3 areas
  • Australian data about children (not) being ready
    for school

33
Australian Early Development Index (AEDI)
  • A population based measure (developed in Canada)
    which provides information about childrens
    health and wellbeing
  • 100 questions covering 5 development domains -
    language and cognitive skills emotional
    maturity physical health and well-being
    communication skills and general knowledge and
    social competence
  • Teachers complete the AEDI on each child in their
    first year of full-time schooling
  • Results are provided at the postcode, suburb or
    school level and not interpreted for individual
    analysis

34
(No Transcript)
35
MARIBYRNONG Geographic Area, Victoria

5 km West of Melbourne
Proportion of children vulnerable on one or more
domains
Prepared by AEDI National Support Centre, GIS
Source AEDI
Communities Data 2005
36
MARIBYRNONG Geographic Area, Victoria

5 km West of Melbourne
Proportion of children vulnerable on two or more
domains
Prepared by AEDI National Support Centre, GIS
Source AEDI
Communities Data 2005
37
Standard school model
Curriculum teaching
Governance
38
New school model
Curriculum teaching
Address barriers to learning
Governance
39
Three groups of children
  1. No barriers to learning - will do well regardless
  2. Severe barriers - generally have access to
    special services and picked up well before start
    school
  3. Subtle to moderate barriers - may elude early
    detection, and intervention often delayed until
    problems entrenched and difficult to treat

40
What are the barriers to learning?
  • Developmental weaknesses - language, memory,
    visual-motor integration, etc
  • Problems of attention and behaviour
  • Disadvantaged environmental circumstances in the
    early years

41
Building infrastructure - human capital
  • The implications of this rapidly evolving
    science for human capital formation are striking.
    The workplace of the 21st century will favor
    individuals with intellectual flexibility, strong
    problem solving skills, emotional resilience, and
    the capacity to work well with others in a
    continuously changing and highly competitive
    economic environment. In this context, the
    personal and societal burdens of diminished
    capacity will be formidable, and the need to
    maximize human potential will be greater than
    ever before.
  • - Knudsen EI, Heckman JJ, Cameron JL, Shonkoff
    JP (2006)
  • Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences

42
The knowledge gap
  • Major challenge is to close the gap between
    what we know and what we do

43
The challenge and the mission
  • If we want to
  • Improve educational outcomes
  • Increase participation and promote social
    inclusion
  • Increase productivity and have a skilled
    workforce
  • then waiting until school entry is too late

44
Conclusion
  • These implications for policy and practice
    are striking in their simplicity, the extent to
    which they reflect common sense, and their solid
    grounding in the science of early childhood and
    brain development. Closing the science-policy gap
    as it affects the future of our children, and
    therefore our society, should be an important
    priority for all who are engaged in public life.
  • - National Scientific Council on the developing
    Child, 2004

45
  • frank.oberklaid_at_rch.org.au
  • www.rch.org/ccch
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Participation for all - waiting until school entry is too late

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Title: Participation for all - waiting until school entry is too late


1
Participation for all - waiting until school
entry is too late
  • 2008 Curriculum Association Conference
  • Melbourne, November 10, 2008
  • Professor Frank Oberklaid
  • Director, Centre for Community Child Health
  • Royal Childrens Hospital Melbourne

2
Outline of presentation
  • Brain development research - the science tells us
    that the early years are critical in shaping a
    childs future learning and behaviour
  • Life course research - what happens in the early
    years has consequences right through the life
    course into adult life
  • For many children, the developmental trajectory
    is set before they start school - Australian data
    show that many children are already in trouble or
    vulnerable at school entry
  • The participation agenda has to begin in the
    early years, well before children start school

3
The importance of skills in the modern economy
  • A large body of researchshows that skill
    begets skill that learning begets learning. The
    earlier the seed is planted and watered, the
    faster and larger it grows. Environments that do
    not stimulate the young and fail to cultivate
    both cognitive and non-cognitive skills place
    children at an early disadvantage.
  • (James Heckman, 2006)

4
The importance of skills in the modern economy
  • Once a child falls behind, he or she is
    likely to remain behind. Remediation for
    impoverished early environments become
    progressively more costly the later it is
    attempted in the life cycle of the child. The
    track record for criminal rehabilitation, adult
    literacy and late teenage public job training
    programs is remarkably poorImpoverished early
    environments are powerful predictors of adult
    failure on a number of social and economic
    dimensions.
  • (James Heckman, 2006)

5
Ability gaps open early in life
  • Ability gaps between advantaged and other
    children open up early before schooling
    begins.Conventional school based policies start
    too late to completely remedy early deficits,
    although they can do some good. Children who
    start ahead keep accelerating past their peers,
    widening the gapEarly advantages accumulate, so
    do early disadvantagesThe best way to improve
    the schools is to improve the early environments
    of the children sent to them. (Heckman J.
    Masterov DV, 2005)

6
The research
  • 3 research themes
  • Brain development
  • Life course
  • Economics of human capital formation
  • 3 research disciplines
  • Neuroscience
  • Developmental psychology
  • Economics
  • Multitude of published studies by researchers
    from varied professional/disciplinary backgrounds

7
What the research tells us
  • The early years of a childs life are critical in
    impacting on a range of outcomes through the life
    course
  • The environment experienced by a young child
    literally sculpts the brain and establishes the
    trajectory for long term cognitive and
    social-emotional outcomes
  • If we want to improve outcomes in school and in
    adult life we have to focus on the early years -
    this has profound implications for public policy
  • Investing in early childhood is a sound economic
    investment (the best investment society can
    make)

8
Neuroscience of brain development
  • Brain is not mature at birth (cf other species)
  • The brain organises itself through the
    interaction of genes responding to the local
    environment - a dance between biology and
    experience, between nature and nurture
  • Brain is changed by experiences
  • The quality of the relationships a young child
    has with caregivers programs social-emotional
    function
  • Adversity impacts on brain development

9
(No Transcript)
10
(No Transcript)
11
(No Transcript)
12
Brains are built over time
  • Brain architecture and skills are built in a
    hierarchical bottom-up sequence
  • Foundations important - higher level circuits
    that process complex information are built on
    lower level circuits that process basic
    information
  • Skills beget skills - the development of higher
    order skills is much more difficult if the lower
    level circuits are not wired properly
  • Plasticity of the brain decreases over time and
    brain circuits stabilise, so it is much harder to
    alter later
  • There is constant pruning of circuits that are
    not used
  • It is biologically and economically more
    efficient to get it right the first time

13
Human brain development - synapse formation
Language
Sensing Pathways (vision, hearing)
Higher Cognitive Function
Conception
-6
-3
0
3
6
9
1
4
8
12
16
Months
Years
AGE
C. Nelson, in From Neurons to Neighborhoods, 2000.
14
The importance of relationships
  • Nurturing and responsive relationships build
    healthy brain architecture that provides a strong
    foundation for learning, behaviour and health
  • The relationships a young child has with their
    caregiver(s) literally sculpts the brain and
    determines the development of circuits
  • When protective relationships are not provided,
    levels of stress hormones increase - this impairs
    cell growth, interferes with formation of healthy
    neural circuits, and disrupts brain architecture

15
Adversity
  • Research on the biology of stress in early
    childhood helps explain some of the underlying
    reasons for differences in learning, behaviour
    and physical and mental health
  • Any adversity or stress that impacts on the
    parents may affect their relationship with their
    young child and thus has the potential to have a
    negative impact on brain development - e.g.
    effects of rapid social change

16
Disordered brain circuits
  • Problems in childhood
  • Beginning of pathways to problems later in life
  • Evidence that many problems in adult life have
    their origins in pathways that begin in childhood

17
Worrying problems in childhood
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • School readiness - many children vulnerable
  • Poor literacy and school achievement
  • Mental health problems - ADHD, conduct disorders,
    aggressive and anti-social behaviour
  • Obesity

18
Even more worrying problems in adult life
  • Mental health problems
  • Family violence and aggressive/anti-social
    behaviour
  • Crime
  • Poor literacy - skills shortages
  • Welfare dependency
  • Substance abuse
  • Obesity and its associations

19
The developmental trajectory and life course
Outcome
Risk factors
Protective factors
Age
20
Risk and protective factors
  • Child
  • Parents
  • Parenting style
  • Family environment
  • Community and cultural
  • School
  • Life events

21
Risk and protective factors
Risk Factors Child Family Community School
Protective Factors Child Family Community School
Outcome
Negative vulnerability
Positive resilience
22
Poverty and health (0-3 years)
  • Less likely to
  • Be breast fed
  • Be fully immunised
  • Receive well child care
  • Have regular and consistent access to health
    services
  • More likely to have
  • Low birth weight
  • Developmental delay
  • Higher incidence of SIDS
  • Higher injury rate
  • Suboptimal growth
  • More frequent hospitalisations
  • Behavioural disorders

23
Vocabulary growth - first 3 years
Vocabulary
High SES
1200
Middle SES
600
Low SES
0
12
16
20
24
28
32
36
Age - Months
B Hart T Risley 1995
24
Making a difference
  • Address risk factors and emerging difficulties
    before they become entrenched problems
  • Goal is to diminish or remove risk factors and
    strengthen protective factors, so improving
    chances of good outcome
  • The earlier the better - more leverage in younger
    years

25
Intervention effects and costs of
social-emotional mental health problems over time
(Bricker)
High
Cost
Intervention effectiveness
Low
Time
26
Rates of return to human development - Investment
across all ages
8
Pre-school Programs
6
School
Return Per Invested
4
R
Job Training
2
Pre-School
School
Post School
0
6
18
Age
Pedro Carneiro, James Heckman, Human Capital
Policy, 2003
27
Cost benefit analysis
  • In contrast to significant benefits from
    model preschool interventions, later remediation
    efforts have been shown to be consistently less
    effective. School age remedial programshave a
    poor record of success. Similarly public job
    training programs, adult literacy services,
    prisoner rehabilitation serviceshave yielded low
    economic returns. Such investments are purely
    political and not supported by any worthwhile
    research.
  • - Knudsen EI, Heckman JJ, Cameron JL,
    Shonkoff JP (2006)
  • Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences

28
Implications for policy
  • Positive relationships and quality learning
    experiences are pivotal to brain development -
    this promotes cognitive, language, social and
    emotional development
  • Resources need to be focused on providing parent
    information, family support, and high quality
    early learning and care settings for ALL children
    - universal services
  • Targeted services for at risk children and
    families who have additional needs that go
    beyond the universal services
  • The research is clear that attempts at later
    remediation are less effective (and cost
    effective) than prevention

29
Implications of the science of early childhood
  • Parents and families
  • Communities and the built environment
  • Child care
  • Education
  • Child protection system
  • Services
  • Business
  • Media
  • An expanded view of building infrastructure

30
Child care
  • Early learning environment - not child minding
  • Reconceptualise the critical period 0-5 years and
    merge child care and preschool into high quality
    learning environments
  • Provide universal access to all children,
    especially disadvantaged - cost and availability
    should not be a barrier
  • Quality vital - staff ratios, physical amenities,
    and especially expertise of caregivers

31
Education
  • Education begins at birth, not when children
    start school - remove distinction between child
    care and preschool
  • Match early learning opportunities to needs of
    children and families (what is rationale for 4
    preschool sessions per week?)
  • Major investment in physical facilities and
    re-design of teacher education
  • Schools as core social centres linked closely
    with their communities
  • Schools linked to early years services

32
Reconceptualise school readiness
  • Children ready for school schools ready for
    children communities that support ECD
  • Need to do a lot of work in all 3 areas
  • Australian data about children (not) being ready
    for school

33
Australian Early Development Index (AEDI)
  • A population based measure (developed in Canada)
    which provides information about childrens
    health and wellbeing
  • 100 questions covering 5 development domains -
    language and cognitive skills emotional
    maturity physical health and well-being
    communication skills and general knowledge and
    social competence
  • Teachers complete the AEDI on each child in their
    first year of full-time schooling
  • Results are provided at the postcode, suburb or
    school level and not interpreted for individual
    analysis

34
(No Transcript)
35
MARIBYRNONG Geographic Area, Victoria

5 km West of Melbourne
Proportion of children vulnerable on one or more
domains
Prepared by AEDI National Support Centre, GIS
Source AEDI
Communities Data 2005
36
MARIBYRNONG Geographic Area, Victoria

5 km West of Melbourne
Proportion of children vulnerable on two or more
domains
Prepared by AEDI National Support Centre, GIS
Source AEDI
Communities Data 2005
37
Standard school model
Curriculum teaching
Governance
38
New school model
Curriculum teaching
Address barriers to learning
Governance
39
Three groups of children
  1. No barriers to learning - will do well regardless
  2. Severe barriers - generally have access to
    special services and picked up well before start
    school
  3. Subtle to moderate barriers - may elude early
    detection, and intervention often delayed until
    problems entrenched and difficult to treat

40
What are the barriers to learning?
  • Developmental weaknesses - language, memory,
    visual-motor integration, etc
  • Problems of attention and behaviour
  • Disadvantaged environmental circumstances in the
    early years

41
Building infrastructure - human capital
  • The implications of this rapidly evolving
    science for human capital formation are striking.
    The workplace of the 21st century will favor
    individuals with intellectual flexibility, strong
    problem solving skills, emotional resilience, and
    the capacity to work well with others in a
    continuously changing and highly competitive
    economic environment. In this context, the
    personal and societal burdens of diminished
    capacity will be formidable, and the need to
    maximize human potential will be greater than
    ever before.
  • - Knudsen EI, Heckman JJ, Cameron JL, Shonkoff
    JP (2006)
  • Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences

42
The knowledge gap
  • Major challenge is to close the gap between
    what we know and what we do

43
The challenge and the mission
  • If we want to
  • Improve educational outcomes
  • Increase participation and promote social
    inclusion
  • Increase productivity and have a skilled
    workforce
  • then waiting until school entry is too late

44
Conclusion
  • These implications for policy and practice
    are striking in their simplicity, the extent to
    which they reflect common sense, and their solid
    grounding in the science of early childhood and
    brain development. Closing the science-policy gap
    as it affects the future of our children, and
    therefore our society, should be an important
    priority for all who are engaged in public life.
  • - National Scientific Council on the developing
    Child, 2004

45
  • frank.oberklaid_at_rch.org.au
  • www.rch.org/ccch
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