Early Childhood Education IELTS READING Answers
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Reading Passage 1, Questions 1-13
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READING PASSAGE 1– Early Childhood Education IELTS READING
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on Reading Passage 1.
Early Childhood Education
New Zealand's National Party spokesman on education, Dr Lockwood Smith, recently visited the US and Britain. Here he reports on the findings of his trip and what they could mean for New Zealand's education policy
A “Education To Be More’ was published last August. It was the report of the New Zealarnd Government’s Early Childhood Care and
Education Working Group. The report argued for enhanced equity of access and better funding for childcare and early childhood education institutions. Unquestionably, that’s a real need; but since parents don’t normally send children to pre-schools until the age of three, are we missing out on the most important years of all?
A 13-year study of early childhood development at Harvard University has shown that, by the age of three, most children have the potential to understand about 1000 words – most of the language they will use in the ordinary conversation for the rest of their lives.
Furthermore, research has shown that while the child is born with a natural curiosity, it can every be suppressed dramatically during The second and third of life. Researchers claim that the human personality is formed during the first two years of life, and during the first three years children learn the basic skills they will use in all their later learning both at home and at school. Once over the age of three, children continue to expand on existing knowledge of the world.
It is generally acknowledged that young people from poorer socio-economic backgrounds tend to do less well in our education system. That’s observed not just in New Zealand, but also in Australia, Britain, and America. In an attempt to overcome that educational under-achievement, a nationwide programme called Headstart was launched in the United States in 1965. A lot of money was poured into it. It took children into pre-school institutions at the age of three and was supposed to help the children of poorer
families succeed in school.
Despite substantial funding, results have been disappointing. It is thought that there are two explanations for this. First, the programme began too late. Many children who entered it at the age of three were already behind their peers in language and measurable intelligence. Second, the parents were not involved. At the end of each day, Headstart children returned to the same disadvantaged home environment.
As a result of the growing research evidence of the importance of the first three years of a child’s life and the disappointing results from Headstart, a pilot program was launched in Missouri in the US that focused on parents as the child’s first teachers. The ‘Missouri’ programme was predicated on research showing that working with the family, rather than bypassing the parents is the most effective way of helping children get off to the best possible start in life.
The four-year pilot study included 380 families who were about to have their first child and who represented a cross-section of socio-econòmic status, age and family configurations. They included single-parent and two-parent families, families in which both parents worked, and families with either the mother or father at home.
The program involved trained parent-educators visiting the parents’ home and working with the parent, or parents, and the child. Information on child development, and guidance
on things to look for and expect as the child grows were provided, plus guidance in fostering the child’s intellectual, language, social and motor-skill development. Periodic check-ups of the child’s educational and sensory development (hearing and vision) were made to detect possible handicaps that interfere with growth and
development. Medical problems were referred to professionals.
Parent-educators made personal visits to homes and monthly group meetings were held with other new parents to share experiences and
discuss topics of interest. Parent resource centers, located in school buildings, offered learning materials for families and facilitators for child care.
At the age of three, the children who had been involved in the ‘Missouri’ programme were evaluated alongside a cross-section of children selected from the same range of socio-economic
backgrounds and family situations, and also a random sample of children that age. The results were phenomenal. By the age of three, the children in the programme were signiticantly more advanced in language development than their had made greater strides in problem peers, solving and other intellectual skills, and were further along in social development. In fact, the average child on the programme was performing at the level of the top 15 to 20 per cent of their peers in such things as auditory comprehension, verbal ability and language ability.Most important of all, the traditional measures of ‘risk’, such as parents’ age and education, or whether they were a single parent, bore little or no relationship to the measures of achievement and language development. Children in the programme performed equally well regardless of socio-economic disadvantages. Child abuse was virtually eliminated. The one factor that was found to affect the child’s development was
family stress leading to a poor quality of parent-child interaction. That interaction was not necessarily bad in poorer families.
These research findings are exciting. There is growing evidence in New Zealand that children from poorer socio-economic backgrounds are arriving at school less well developed and that
our school system tends to perpetuale that disadvantage. The initiative outlined above could break that cycle of disadvantage. The concept of working with parents in their homes, or at their
place of work, contrasts quite markedly with the report of the Early Childhood Care and Education Working Group. Their focus is on
getting children and mothers access to childcare and institutionalised early childhood education. Education from the age of three to five is undoubtedly vital, but without a similar focus on
parent education and on the vital importance of the first three years, some evidence indicates that it will not be enough to overcome educational inequity.
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Questions 1-4– Early Childhood Education IELTS READING
Reading Passage 1 has six sections, A-F.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
Write the correct letter A-F in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet.
- details of the range of family types involved in an education programme
- reasons why a child’s early years are so important
- reasons why an education programme failed
- a description of the positive outcomes of an education programme
Questions 5-1 –Early Childhood Education IELTS READING
Classify the following features as characterising
- A the ‘Headstart’ programme
- B the ‘Missouri’ programme
- C Both the ‘Headstart’ and the ‘Missouri’ programmes
- D neither the ‘Headstart’ nor the ‘Missouri’ programme
Write the correct letter A, B, C or D in boxes 5-10 on your answer sheet.
- was administered to a variety of poor and wealthy families
- continued with follow-up assistance in elementary schools
- did not succeed in its aim
- supplied many forms of support and training to parents
- received insufficient funding
- was designed to improve pre-schoolers’ educational development
Questions 11-13– Early Childhood Education IELTS READING
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage !?
In boxes 11-13 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
- Most Missouri’ programme three-year-olds scored highly in areas such as listening, speaking, reasoning and interacting with others.
- “Missouri’ programme children of young, uneducated, single parents scored less highly on the tests.
- The richer families in the ‘Missouri’ programme had higher stress levels.
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