NPR did a report on the Meaningful Differences work that Hart and Risley did. It’s fascinating, and well worth reading. The article talks about their experiences as educators, trying to teach four year olds vocabulary to put them on par with rich kids — and here’s the depressing part — no matter what they tried, they couldn’t succeed.
(Pause for a minute as Kiri goes off into the other room to do a primal scream.)
I’m back. Oh, that’s frustrating. But that was what led them to research the first three years of a child’s life, and the verbal interactions they have with their parents. The results of that study I have already shared with you.
The good news is that people are using this information to make a difference in the lives of poor children, from birth to three, by helping teach their parents how to have richer — and more — interactions with them.
Now my question is, what can those of us who work with kids who are four do to help?!