The Extraordinary Power of Preschool

Research shows that children who attend preschool are less likely to be arrested later in life and more likely to graduate from high school. Preschool is the best leveler of the achievement gap. 

What's the Latest Development?


According to a host of studies, preschool does wonders for early cognitive development and plays an important role in later-life success. One exemplary study was completed by Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman, who surveyed 123 low-income African-American children from Michigan, half of whom went to preschool, half of whom did not. As the children grew over the following decades, those who attended preschool were 20 percent more likely to have graduated from high school and 19 percent less likely to have been arrested more than five times. 

What's the Big Idea?

More than increase the chance of leading a fulfilling life, which is no small thing, preschool plays an important role in mediating the relationship between nature and nurture, between genes and upbringing. According to a national sample of 1,200 identical and fraternal twins carried out in 2001, researchers found that preschool compensated, in cognitive terms, for a home life that was not entirely nurturing. Preschool is a great societal equalizer, helping to overcome environmental factors and allow individuals to realize their full genetic potential. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com


LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Why are women more religious than men? Because men are more willing to take risks.

It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.

Photo credit: Alina Strong on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
  • A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
  • The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
Keep reading Show less