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Submitted by James Gresham on
These findings are very interesting. We know that an individual's success later in life is affected by a range of factors, including but not limited to cognitive ability. For this reason, I'm also surprised by the high level of attention paid to test scores, which may or may not accurately reflect cognitive ability anyway. The findings here suggest several things to me. First, it seems clear that we need to expand our definition of "success" with regards to educational interventions to include non-cognitive as well as cognitive outcomes, especially in developing countries. Perhaps this could involve some link between the two types of outcomes. For example, if we could identify which types of cognitive skills have the greatest positive impact on non-cognitive outcomes, and we could design tests to measure these skills, then test scores may be more accurate indicators of “success” later in life. Another takeaway from these findings is the powerful effects of intervening early in a child's life. The Perry Pre-school program is one of the most studied ECD programs in the world. Evidence on this program, and other programs around the world, identifies a clear positive relationship between early childhood interventions and various educational, social, and economic outcomes throughout life. Many of these outcomes persist over time, so in my perspective, there is a clear rationale for continuing and expanding investments in this area.