Should disadvantaged children be stimulated more than others?

The idea is dear to the President of the Republic: inequality must be reduced from an early age. This ambition is already based on the 2018 Poverty Plan It was adopted, this Thursday, June 2, at the Institute Montagne, a liberal think tank, in a report “Future games are played in poor neighborhoods”.

France, the author writes, should “Invest heavily in education”, With special attention at the very beginning of school life. They offer“The experiment, in this vicinity, is a powerful cognitive stimulation program from an early age, thanks to the strict supervision of the family together.”

“Strict supervision”

Science will be official on the benefits of such an approach, according to the authors, who have cited two North American programs: Perry Preschool and Carolina Obesderian. First, “Launched in Michigan in 1962, it involved 58 children between the ages of 3 and 4 from disadvantaged backgrounds. They participated in a powerful cognitive stimulation program for five years. The program consisted of 2.5 hours of classes every morning and 1.5 hours of home visits per week. There was one teacher for 6 students. The report describes.

The second was employed in Carolina between 1972 and 1977 by predominantly African-American families, with children aged 0 to 5 being offered. “Strong supervision for activities (1 adult for 3 children) (Learning the game) Six hours a day, five days a week, fifty weeks a year, promoting their cognitive, social and psychomotor development. “

As a result, the trajectory of these children’s lives improved dramatically, according to the institute, which indicates that the same two panels, evaluated forty years later, showed successful integration – “Improved health, higher income, lower crime” – Compared to other comparative neighborhoods.

Scientific credibility challenge

Should we conclude that over-stimulation is a miraculous tool, which is not found in France in general and in schools in particular? The Institute acknowledges that not everything should be expected. Many childhood professionals are offended by such an approach, the scientific credibility of which they argue.

Older and older assessment quoted by Institut Montaigne, comments Gregor Borst (1), Professor of Developmental Psychology: “Today, measures targeted at the poorest children are less effective than universal policy, because they are often excluded.. This is why a recent report by France Strategy and the National Family Allowance Fund on Community Child Care did not address the policy targeting the most disadvantaged children. A

Little knowledge

Basically, the goal of programs cited as examples is to ensure the acquisition of a certain number of words, but they will have less meaning than learning a dictionary by heart. “In young children, there is no education except the joy of entering into a relationship”, Pediatric psychiatrist Bernard Golus has been very critical of the approach “False Scientist”Based on measured motives, and very fashionable in France today.

“It’s about paying attention to the child, the fact that an adult responds to the innate desire for communication that counts”, Maya Gretier (2), professor of developmental psychology adds. Otherwise, the words remain meaningless. “Alone, strictly cognitive stimulation means nothing, Further argument Gregor Borst. Above all, there is a need to ensure emotional stability, which is absolutely critical at this age, but encouraging curiosity, ensuring access to culture, and so on. A

A good idea, in his opinion, would be quite different: “Very young children in school should be taught to know their brains. Of course, reading stories is important to them, but if we leave parents alone to explain to them what it is that stimulates them, if we don’t train them to express their feelings in words, then we miss the partial goal. Reduce inequality, because not all parents are able to do that. A

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