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How Human Capital Theory Sells Early Education Short: Revaluing Early Education through the Capabilities Approach

  • Cary A. Buzzelli
Part of the Critical Cultural Studies of Childhood book series (CCSC)

Abstract

Early childhood education programs, particularly Head Start, have been both the hope and frustration of early childhood education advocates, policy makers, and early childhood educators. The hope was, and is, that early childhood programs increase school readiness and lead to successful school experiences for young children living in poverty. The frustrations are, and have been, in the results of program evaluations, which find little evidence to support program effectiveness. Initial evaluations were disappointing at best (Westinghouse, 1969). Results from the recently released report on the third grade follow-up to the Head Start Impact Study (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2012) did find some positive effects for children who attended for one year. However, when comparisons were made at the end of first and third grades between children who had attended and those who had not, most differences had dissipated. The authors note that long-term or “sleeper” effects could emerge for these cohorts in the future years as has been found for participants in the Perry Preschool Program (Heckman, 2008; Schweinhart & Weikart, 1997). These studies found significant differences between children enrolled in the Perry Preschool Project and those in the control group.

Keywords

Human Capital Early Childhood Education Capability Approach Early Education Human Capital Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Theodora Lightfoot-Rueda and Ruth Lynn Peach 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cary A. Buzzelli

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