From upgrading genetic code to reducing the cost of crime: why early childhood education is so important

Childhood Education

Asking why childhood education is important is like asking why oxygen is useful. The benefits are obvious, but the best thing about smart educated people is that they don’t just say things are obvious and then leave it – they do scientific studies to check.

Here are just a few of the amazing benefits of early childhood education, and how starting early really makes a big difference, and how all of those differences prove to be extra positive.

 

1. Reducing The Cost Of Crime

Early childhood education doesn’t just elevate the human race, it’s cost-effective. Those aren’t concepts you often find together, but education is just that good. The Perry program investigated the effects of high-quality preschool programs on disadvantaged children. A few hours of education at ages 3 and 4 yielded lifelong results.

Forty years later, those benefiting from early education were found to be more intelligent, higher-earning, and with fewer criminal problems.

On top of an increased quality of life for the person, the program saved money for the state. Police estimates put the money saved at $180,000 per student. Because police time is expensive. Court time is expensive. Jail is extremely expensive, because it’s food board and armed reverse-servants for every prisoner. (Reverse-servant: someone employed to prevent you doing things instead of to do things for you.)

Instead of pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into punishing people, spend just a few of those thousands on educating them in the first place.

 

2. Upgrading Genetic Code

Cutting edge research released this month shows that education doesn’t just affect your brain – it can rewire your entire being. A school screwing around with genetic codes might sound like something out of the X-Men, or exactly like the X-Men, but the results aren’t things like laser eyes and lightning bolts. They’re improved health and quality of life which, when you think about it, are far better powers to have in the real world.

The study “Associations with early-life socioeconomic position in adult DNA methylation” shows that early childhood conditions affect your epigenetic programming. Epigenetics are a layer of biochemical information controlling your DNA. If your genes are a book of instructions, you can think of epigenes as markers telling you which pages to read.

The study found that changing conditions after age seven didn’t affect the epigenetic instructions in the same way – if you get the advantages early, you benefit from them forever.

 

3. Education Amplification

You can’t have too much of a good thing, especially education. Early childhood education has been shown to improve the effects of subsequent learning. The Harrisburg Preschool Program recently released results demonstrating how early education improved results all the way up to fifth grade, and they only stopped there because that’s how old the kids are now. Further improvements will doubtless be shown as soon as the children grow more!

The conclusions of these studies are as inescapable as they are obvious. Humanity is designed to improve itself. Our hugely extended childhoods are based on our ability to learn and adapt to the environment. Tiger cubs quickly grow and leave home because “run, catch, kill, eat” might be strenuous but it’s not hard to learn the concept.

Human children seem helpless for a decade or more, but that’s because they’re spending all their energy learning how to deal with this world. If they find themselves in a world of watching TV, playing games, and drinking soda, they will adapt to that by becoming fat and lazy. If the find a world full of information, where thinking leads to improved rewards, then they’ll develop into people to take advantage of that.

Written by Connor Livingston

+Connor Livingston is a tech blogger who will be launching his own site soon, Lythyum. He lives in Oceanside, California, and has never surfed in his life. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
SEE MORE ARTICLES BY "Connor Livingston"

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1 Comment »

 
#1
Victor Long
December 22nd, 2011 at 12:52 am

That actually looks like it might just work. Wow
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