In recent NY mayor election, public pre-K became a major issue for developing academic success in future grades. It has been helpful in private schools. According to a recent study at Vanderbilt University, students exposed to the power of positive approval for success in Pre-K schools are likely to self-regulate in future grades. The power of positive may be the root that benefits the efficacy of pre-K.
The power of positive thinking are often sought after by many. The ability to achieve it appear more difficult as one grows. Positivity requires a foundation early on. The power of positive acceptance at pre-kindergarten schooling has been shown in a multi-ethnic study that this promotes cognitive approaches that follow in upper grades. Self-regulation skills are related to children’s ability to control their effort, pay attention and stay on task. Lack of those skills creates adjustment problems and potentially impedes learning. This executive function is more difficult to access as children grow.
Pre-K is about accepting challenges and succeeding in them. That doesn’t mean developing reading and math skills. These are more conceptual right-brain exercises. One of the behaviors observed was “behavior disapproval” or signaling to a child that despite what he or she has chosen to do, the teacher wants the child doing something different. Although this teacher behavior can be delivered quite positively, the more behavior disapproval, the less gain children made in self-regulation. Private pre-K schools have been very successful with the power of positive approval.
As public school systems and governments labor to create pre-K programs aimed at future school success, the failure of implementing the power of positive at this level to all students may lead to neutral or negative results. While home and environment play active roles, the power of positive relationships between parents, teachers, and young children allows kids to develop those crucial executive functions. For all those ideas and appropriations to extending public education to pre-K, ignoring the power of positive behavior enforcement as early discipline training is a vital ingredient for future success.