Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Starting school too early can damage some children

Today in The Telegraph, Graeme Paton reports on a leading academic who is saying that formal schooling, if begun too early, can cause long-term damage to bright children.
Pupils should not be subjected to full classroom tuition until the age of six to off-set the effects of premature "adultification," it was claimed. Dr Richard House, a senior lecturer at Roehampton University’s Research Centre for Therapeutic Education, said gifted pupils from relatively affluent backgrounds suffered the most from being pushed "too far, too fast." He quoted a major US study -- carried out over eight decades -- that showed children’s "run-away intellect" actually benefited from being slowed down in the early years, allowing them to develop naturally. Many bright children can grow up in an "intellectually unbalanced way," suffering lifelong negative health effects and even premature death, after being pushed into formal schooling too quickly, he said.

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