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Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, Volume I, Wellbeing in Children and Families by Cary L. Cooper, Susan H. Landry

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4

Early Math and Literacy Skills

Key Predictors of Later School Success

Greg J. Duncan

University of California, Irvine, U.S.A.

Chantelle Dowsett

University of Kansas, U.S.A.

Joshua F. Lawrence

University of California, Irvine, U.S.A.

Children enter school with a set of cognitive skills and socioemotional behaviors determined by interactions between their own endowments and the quality of their early family and child-care experiences (Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000). These skills and behaviors are building blocks for the acquisition of later, more sophisticated skills (Knudsen, Heckman, Cameron, & Shonkoff, 2006). But they also shape children's environments, particularly interactions with teachers and classmates, school experiences such as placement into ability groups, and interactions with family members. These environments can exert their own independent effects on children's learning and skill development throughout the school years.

Discussions of preschool “quality” reveal little consensus regarding the relative importance of cognitive skills versus socioemotional behaviors for school readiness (Zigler, Gilliam, & Barnett, 2011). The National Research Council's Committee on the Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children recommends providing environments that promote preliteracy skills for all preschool children (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). The National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2002) issued ...

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