剑桥雅思5 Test 3阅读Passage 1原文翻译 Early Childhood Education 早期儿童教育
剑桥雅思5 Test 3 Passage 1阅读原文翻译
‘Education To Be More’ was published last August. It was the report of the New Zealand Government’s Early Childhood Care and Education Working Group. The report argued for enhanced equity of access and better funding for childcare and early childhood education institutions. Unquestionably, that’s a real need; but since parents don’t normally send children to pre-schools until the age of three, are we missing out on the most important years of all?
去年八月出版了《Education to be more》。这是新西兰政府儿童早期照顾与教育工作组的报告。该报告主张加强机会公平，为托儿和幼儿教育机构提供更好的资金。毫无疑问，这是真正的需求。但由于父母通常要到三岁才会送孩子上学前班，我们错过了最重要的几年吗？
A 13-year study of early childhood development at Harvard University has shown that, by the age of three, most children have the potential to understand about 1000 words – most of the language they will use in ordinary conversation for the rest of their lives.
Furthermore, research has shown that while every child is born with a natural curiosity, it can be suppressed dramatically during the second and third years of life. Researchers claim that the human personality is formed during the first two years of life, and during the first three years children learn the basic skills they will use in all their later learning both at home and at school. Once over the age of three, children continue to expand on existing knowledge of the world.
It is generally acknowledged that young people from poorer socio-economic backgrounds tend to do less well in our education system. That’s observed not just in New Zealand, but also in Australia, Britain and America. In an attempt to overcome that educational under-achievement, a nationwide programme called ‘Headstart’ was launched in the United States in 1965. A lot of money was poured into it. It took children into pre-school institutions at the age of three and was supposed to help the children of poorer families succeed in school.
人们普遍认识到，社会经济背景较差的年轻人在我们的教育体系中表现不好。不仅在新西兰，而且在澳大利亚，英国和美国都有这种现象。为了克服教育上的不足，1965年在美国启动了一项名为“ Headstart ” 的全国性计划。大量的钱被投入其中。它在孩子三岁时将其送入学前教育机构。这本来是为了帮助贫穷家庭的孩子在学校取得成功。
Despite substantial funding, results have been disappointing. It is thought that there are two explanations for this. First, the programme began too late. Many children who entered it at the age of three were already behind their peers in language and measurable intelligence. Second, the parents were not involved. At the end of each day, ‘Headstart’ children returned to the same disadvantaged home environment.
尽管有大量的资金，但结果却令人失望。对此有两种解释。首先，该项目开始太晚了。许多在三岁时入学的孩子在语言和智力方面已经落后于同龄人。其次，父母没有参与。每天结束时，“ Headstart ”项目的儿童回到了同样处境不利的家庭环境中。
As a result of the growing research evidence of the importance of the first three years of a child’s life and the disappointing results from ‘Headstart’, a pilot programme was launched in Missouri in the US that focused on parents as the child’s first teachers. The ‘Missouri’ programme was predicated on research showing that working with the family, rather than bypassing the parents, is the most effective way of helping children get off to the best possible start in life. The four-year pilot study included 380 families who were about to have their first child and who represented a cross-section of socio-economic status, age and family configurations. They included single-parent and two-parent families, families in which both parents worked, and families with either the mother or father at home.
由于越来越多的研究证据表明了孩子生命头三年的重要性，再加上“ Headstart ” 令人失望的结果，美国密苏里州启动了一项试点计划。该计划将重点放在作为孩子第一任老师的家长身上。密苏里计划建立在这样的研究预测之上，即与家庭合作，而不是绕过父母，是帮助孩子开启人生最佳可能的最有效方式。这项为期四年的试点研究包括380个即将生育第一个孩子的家庭。这些家庭代表了不同的社会经济地位，年龄和家庭结构。他们包括单亲家庭和双亲家庭，双职工家庭和单职工家庭等。
The programme involved trained parent-educators visiting the parents’ home and working with the parent, or parents, and the child. Information on child development, and guidance on things to look for and expect as the child grows were provided, plus guidance in fostering the child’s intellectual, language, social and motor-skill development. Periodic check-ups of the child’s educational and sensory development (hearing and vision) were made to detect possible handicaps that interfere with growth and development. Medical problems were referred to professionals.
Parent-educators made personal visits to homes and monthly group meetings were held with other new parents to share experience and discuss topics of interest. Parent resource centres, located in school buildings, offered learning materials for families and facilitators for child care.
At the age of three, the children who had been involved in the ‘Missouri’ programme were evaluated alongside a cross-section of children selected from the same range of socio-economic backgrounds and family situations, and also a random sample of children that age. The results were phenomenal. By the age of three, the children in the programme were significantly more advanced in language development than their peers, had made greater strides in problem solving and other intellectual skills, and were further along in social development. In fact, the average child on the programme was performing at the level of the top 15 to 20 per cent of their peers in such things as auditory comprehension, verbal ability and language ability.
三岁时，参与“ 密苏里” 计划的孩子接受了评估。一起接受评估的还有其他来自各种各样社会经济背景和家庭情况的孩子，以及一些随机选取的相同年龄的孩子。结果是惊人的。到三岁时，项目中的孩子在语言发展方面比他们的同龄人明显更加优秀，在解决问题和其他智力技能上迈出更大的步伐，在社交能力发展上同样领先。实际上，该项目的孩子在听觉理解， 文字能力和语言能力等方面的平均表现相当于同龄人中排名前15％至20％的表现。
Most important of all, the traditional measures of ‘risk’, such as parents’ age and education, or whether they were a single parent, bore little or no relationship to the measures of achievement and language development. Children in the programme performed equally well regardless of socio-economic disadvantages. Child abuse was virtually eliminated. The one factor that was found to affect the child s development was family stress leading to a poor quality of parent-child interaction. That interaction was not necessarily bad in poorer families.
These research findings are exciting. There is growing evidence in New Zealand that children from poorer socio-economic backgrounds are arriving at school less well developed and that our school system tends to perpetuate that disadvantage. The initiative outlined above could break that cycle of disadvantage. The concept of working with parents in their homes, or at their place of work, contrasts quite markedly with the report of the Early Childhood Care and Education Working Group. Their focus is on getting children and mothers access to childcare and institutionalised early childhood education. Education from the age of three to five is undoubtedly vital, but without a similar focus on parent education and on the vital importance of the first three years, some evidence indicates that it will not be enough to overcome educational inequity.