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What Are the Problems of Pre-Primary Education?

By Matthew Bamberg ; Updated April 18, 2017
Pre-primary education isn't without its problems.

Pre-primary education has become a worldwide effort because of the benefits preschool children obtain from attending pre-primary programs. The benefits last until adulthood. Despite this, there are problems with pre-primary education. Most of the problems aren't severe and are far outweighed by the benefits. But the problems need to be studied further to be resolved.

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Skill Loss

While most studies show that pre-primary education provides long-lasting academic benefits, there are problems with the maintenance of skills. Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study by Magnuson, Ruhm and Waldfogel (2006) as cited by Berlinski, Galiani and Gertler found that "pre-primary education is associated with higher reading and mathematics skills at primary school entry, but that these correlations disappeared by the end of first grade."

Behavior Problems

Behavior problems are magnified if pre-primary students are not located in a public school. Magnuson, Ruhm and Waldfogel (2006) also found that "when preschools are not located in public schools, pre-primary education is associated with higher levels of behavioral problems."

Unreasonable Expectations

Increasingly, preschool teachers are expecting 4-year-old children to do independent seat work. Children that age can't sit still that long; when they don't, they are reprimanded. According to a 2005 article by Jennifer Steinhauer in the "New York Times," a Yale study reported that preschool children are three times more likely to be expelled than primary school children.

Parent Awareness

Some parents of immigrants don't know about existing pre-primary education opportunities for their children. Many immigrant parents don't speak English or know what early education is. They also don't know if they are eligible for pre-primary education programs and aren't aware that there are benefits to early education.

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About the Author

Matthew Bamberg is the author of several photography books, as well as an adjunct instructor at the University of Phoenix, National University and UC Riverside. He teaches English composition, sociolinguistics and photography, previously serving as a public school teacher in California for 14 years.

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