COMMONALITIES OF SUCCESSFUL PRE-KINDERGARTEN PROGRAMS
There have been a number of studies examining for common elements associated with the effective preschool or pre-kindergarten program. The purpose of this research is to discuss and delineate these elements.
Papalia and Olds (1992) present a comprehensive discussion of the effective preschool or pre-kindergarten program. According to the authors regardless of variation in programs functions, those programs that are successful have several common features. These features are: (1) program delivery in a safe, clean environment; (2) trained personnel who are warm and responsive to all children; (3) the promotion of good health habits along with regular intervention; (4) a stimulating environment that fosters children's mastery of cognitive and communication skills; (5) encouragement of children to develop at their own rate; (6) the nurturance of self-confidence, curiosity, creativity, and self-discipline; (7) fostering of question asking, problem solving and decision-making skills; (8) encouragement of prosocial behavior; (9) help provided to parents to improve their child rearing skills; and (10) the promotion of cooperation between parents, personnel, and the community.
However, despite the fact that a given program may contain many and perhaps all of the elements listed by Papalia and Olds (1992), Reynolds (1994) points out that there are certain structural variables must also be considered, one of which is program duration. In this regard, Reynolds conducted a longitudinal exploration of achievement related outcomes for the Chicago Child Parent Center and Expansion Program.
According to the author, two years after exposure to the preschool program, it was found that the single most important element responsible for success was program duration. In this regard, duration of the program was associated with numerous positive outcomes including: reading and mathemat...