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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

The Cheapest, Most Effective Pre-School Education

While no one can dispute the value of most education, the cheapest and most effective early intervention “program” would be for parents to read to their children from 2 years of age onward, and to speak with rather than to them (as by explaining why something should be done rather than merely saying, “do it because I say so”). The latter behavior, when frequent, depresses the development of both abstract thinking (as per Bernstein1 ) and of intrinsic motivation, that “motivation which is inherent in information processing and action” (as per Hunt2 ) and energizes spontaneous learning.

1 Bernstein, B., Social Structure, Language and Learning, Educational Research, 1961, Vol. 3.
2 Hunt, J. McV. Motivation inherent in information processing and action. In O. J. Harvey (Ed.), Cognitive factors in motivation and social organization, New York: Ronald, 1963.
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