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Effectiveness of early educational intervention

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Science, 19 August 2011, Vol. 333, no. 6045, pp. 975-978
Barnett, W. Steven
Publication Date: 
19 Aug 2011

Article abstract [available in full-text by subscription only]

This article is part of a special section on Investing Early in Education. Most other articles require subscription. More information on the Special Section: Investing Early in Education.


Early educational intervention has been proposed to partially offset the impacts of poverty and inadequate learning environments on child development and school success. A broad range of early educational interventions are found to produce meaningful, lasting effects on cognitive, social, and schooling outcomes.
However, all interventions are not equally effective. Two major U.S. programs perform relatively poorly. Research provides some guidance regarding the features of highly effective programs, but much remains to be learned. New experimental studies of key program features would have a high payoff.