Journal Article

The Effects of Preschool Education

What We Know, How Public Policy is or is Not Aligned with the Evidence Base, and What We Need to Know

By Pianta, R. C., Barnett, W. S., Burchinal, M., & Thornburg, K. (2009).

It is clear from decades of research that preschool education can have large and lasting positive effects on the lives of participants and can be of meaningful benefit to society. It is just as clear that what preschool can do when implemented under conditions of high quality is not the same as what it usually does do during broad-scale implementation. Pianta, Barnett, Burchinal, and Thornburg take on the important questions of why this disconnect between promise and delivery exists and what might be done to effectively reconcile the two.

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The Authors

W. Steven (Steve) Barnett is a Board of Governors Professor and the founder and Senior Co-Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. Dr. Barnett’s work primarily focuses on public policies regarding early childhood education, child care, and child development.