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Preliteracy intervention - lessons to be learned from seemingly discrepant results

Lookup NU author(s): Professor James LawORCiD


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At face value, promoting early literacy skills is a bit of a “no-brainer.” We all want to maximize the life opportunities for children, and early intervention is immensely appealing for parents, practitioners, and policy-makers alike. Early intervention is increasingly supported by neurobiological evidence for the negative consequences of restricted environments 1 and the economic evidence for the value of early intervention. 2 Yet, knowing that early intervention has been shown to work for one aspect of development at a given age and dosage is not the same as saying that such results will be universally applicable. Indeed, as the 2 studies discussed in this issue of Pediatrics demonstrate, 3, 4 the results of effectiveness studies may seem contradictory; in this case, results of 1 study indicate that a preliteracy intervention does not work, and results of the other study indicate that it does. The research community has the responsibility of teasing these issues apart: how much does it work and for whom?

Publication metadata

Author(s): Law J

Publication type: Editorial

Publication status: Published

Journal: Pediatrics

Year: 2011

Volume: 127

Issue: 3

Pages: 573-574

Print publication date: 01/03/2011

ISSN (print): 0031-4005

ISSN (electronic): 1098-4275

Publisher: American Academy of Pediatrics


DOI: 10.1542/peds.2010-3605