The findings do not suggest that being older is better in some absolute sense. All of these studies used relative age as the independent variable. Depending on the birth-date cut-off in the state or community, a relatively old child in one study could have been an average-aged child in another study. The findings also do not suggest that older children learn more in school than younger children. The age differences, when found, were usually stronger at the beginning of school than in the later grades, indicating that the younger children actually tended to learn more, often catching up with their older peers after a few years in school.
Even in the early elementary grades, the magnitude of the effect of age appears to be small. Most studies do not compare age to other factors influencing student achievement, but in one that did, the proportion of risk of poor achievement attributed to race and socioeconomic factors was 13 times larger than that contributed by age.
School versus time to mature. Most relevant to the question of school entry age are studiescomparing children who are the same age but in different grades and children who are in the same grade but approximately a year apart in age. The first comparison provides information on the effect of a year of schooling, holding age constant. The second comparison provides information on the effect of chronological age, holding the number of years of schooling constant.
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Findings from studies using these methods suggest that schooling is the more potent variable in most of the cognitive skills measured. In math and most aspects of reading and literacy in most studies, children who were in school gained more in a year than children the same age who were not in school. The school effect is strong in an absolute as well as a relative sense. Cahan and Cohen 14 report that the effect of a year in school was twice the effect of a year of age.
The evidence suggests that within the five- to six-year-old range in which most children begin school in the U. Extant research does not support recent trends in the U. Research on day care and early childhood education also suggests advantages of centre care for children in the preschool years. Many early childhood experts have called into question the very notion of "school readiness. Literacy, according to current experts, begins to develop long before children enter school. Recent work on the development of mathematical understanding shows that an understanding of basic number concepts is seen and can be promoted in toddlers.
School Entry Age. Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development [online]. Updated June Accessed September 26, Skip to main content. Back to recent texts School Entry Age. June , 2 nd ed. PDF version. Introduction At what age should children enter formal schooling? Subject Policy-makers debate the age at which school entry should be allowed, and when it should be required. Problems Identifying the appropriate age for children to enter school is complicated by the fact that children do not all develop at the same pace.
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Research Context Three strategies have been used to assess the effects of the age of school entry on children's academic achievement, and occasionally on social-emotional or motivational outcomes. Research Results Delayed entry. Conclusion The evidence suggests that within the five- to six-year-old range in which most children begin school in the U. References Stipek D. At what age should children enter kindergarten? A question for policy makers and parents. The effects of chronological age, gender, and delay of entry on academic achievement and retention: Implications for academic redshirting.
Psychology in the Schools ;27 3 Crosser SL. Summer birth date children: Kindergarten entrance age and academic achievement.
Journal of Educational Research ;84 3 Breznitz Z, Teltsch T. The effect of school entrance age on academic achievement and social-emotional adjustment of children: Follow-up study of fourth graders.source
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Psychology in the Schools ;26 1 Dietz C, Wilson BJ. Beginning school age and achievement.
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Psychology in the Schools ;22 1 Kinard EM , Reinhertz H. Birthdate effects on school performance and adjustment: A longitudinal study. Journal of Educational Research 6 ; Age of admission and trends in achievement: A comparison of Blacks and Caucasians.
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American Educational Research Journal ;21 1 Age of entry, sex, and academic achievement in elementary school children. Psychology in the Schools ;24 4 The effect of age at school entry on reading achievement scores among South Carolina students.
Remedial and Special Education ;11 2 May DC, Welch E. It is also a capacity absolutely essential for a full life. It was only when she became transfixed by the notion of silence, the subject of her previous book , that she arrived, obliquely, at solitude. She writes:. I got fascinated by silence; by what happens to the human spirit, to identity and personality when the talking stops, when you press the off button, when you venture out into that enormous emptiness. I was interested in silence as a lost cultural phenomenon, as a thing of beauty and as a space that had been explored and used over and over again by different individuals, for different reasons and with wildly differing results.
I began to use my own life as a sort of laboratory to test some ideas and to find out what it felt like. Almost to my surprise, I found I loved silence. It suited me. I got greedy for more. How have we arrived, in the relatively prosperous developed world, at least, at a cultural moment which values autonomy, personal freedom, fulfillment and human rights, and above all individualism, more highly than they have ever been valued before in human history, but at the same time these autonomous, free, self-fulfilling individuals are terrified of being alone with themselves?
We live in a society which sees high self-esteem as a proof of well-being, but we do not want to be intimate with this admirable and desirable person. We are supposed now to seek our own fulfillment, to act on our feelings, to achieve authenticity and personal happiness — but mysteriously not do it on our own. By being intimate with our own inner life — that frightening and often foreign landscape that philosopher Martha Nussbaum so eloquently urged us to explore despite our fear — frees us to reach greater, more dimensional intimacy with others.
Maitland writes:. This suggests that even those who know that they are best and most fully themselves in relationships of whatever kind need a capacity to be alone, and probably at least some occasions to use that ability. If you know who you are and know that you are relating to others because you want to, rather than because you are trapped unfree , in desperate need and greed, because you fear you will not exist without someone to affirm that fact, then you are free.
Some solitude can in fact create better relationships, because they will be freer ones. And yet the value of aloneness has descended into a downward spiral of social judgment over the course of humanity. A spinster was someone, usually a woman, who could spin well: a woman who could spin well was financially self-sufficient — it was one of the very few ways that mediaeval women could achieve economic independence.
The word was generously applied to all women at the point of marriage as a way of saying they came into the relationship freely, from personal choice, not financial desperation. I do not think it — I feel it.