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What is the public understanding of investment in Education, particularly Early Education?

Fagan, Beth (2013) What is the public understanding of investment in Education, particularly Early Education? Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis was to find out what the public think about investment in education, particularly early education.

The literature, particularly newer research by both Allen (2011, 2012) and Heckman (2008), make the economic case for investment in early education, particularly for those who are born into difficult circumstances. Some of the earlier literature focusses on the difficulties encountered by those who lack sufficient words to express their feelings and the subsequent problems that causes them later in life (Webster-Stanton and Taylor 2001, Conway and Brown, 2004), with early school leaving and problems with abuse of alcohol and drugs.

Children not finishing schools was addressed in the earliest piece of research examined (Kelly, Verdman, and McGuire, 1964) and was a point taken up much later by Levenstein (l970). The problems children were having finishing school could be linked back to being unprepared when they entered the school system at age 5.

The educational system in Ireland appears to be in a state of flux with many Government initiatives and task forces looking into various aspects of the educational system. The Department of Social Protection has sent an unfortunate message by encouraging those who lack employment skills to work with the youngest children in various childcare settings.

Twenty five people were interviewed and their opinions sought. While close to 50% (N=12) of those interviewed understand and supported programmes for young children, most did not understand how early those programmes should begin. Only one person mentioned that good quality programmes offer cost savings.

The open ended nature of the questions meant that other issues were brought up by those interviewed with teacher training being the most often mentioned (N=9), with a series of suggestions on improving it.

The public understand the importance of early education, but not the economic argument.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > Early childhood education
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Business Administration
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2013 10:36
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2013 10:36
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/838

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