There are two distinct trends in regards to pre-K education in the United States. On the one hand, policymakers and various volunteers and organizations aim at the provision of equal opportunities for all the kids regardless of their socio-economic and ethnic background. On the other hand, pre-K is more and more considered as the most crucial stage in a person’s education (Pew, 2011). For this reason, the curriculum of the preschool programs has become increasingly sophisticated over the years. However, while the first trend mostly has a positive impact on society, the latter one may also be associated with negative consequences. Therefore, the current essay will cover this point in more detail and also analyze the current state of the pre-K movement in North Carolina.
Without a doubt, providing all the children around the country with relatively equal opportunities would potentially solve many injustices that exist in the modern U.S. Although some people may be skeptical about such an outcome as inequalities may flourish later in life; still, the increased availability of pre-K education for all denotes one step closer to an egalitarian society. Additionally, increased sophistication of education would mean that the next generations would be ready to address the new challenges of the future. Yet, the latter would also signify that there would be additional pressure on kids, which raises certain concerns in terms of potential psychological issues. Indeed, it is not a secret that a constantly growing number of young people already experience severe mental problems partly due to harsh competition in the labor market and at schools. Thus, setting increased expectations for the kids may bring the abovementioned problem to the pre-K level.
The early preschool programs in the U.S. and in Europe during the late 19th and beginning of the 20th century were mainly concentrated on memorization and recitation skills. However, as the understanding of children’s development has been evolving, pre-K institutions included more activities that aim to cultivate other abilities in their curriculum. Nowadays, preschools in North Carolina on average set 30-40 learning objectives such as fine motor, language, emergent writing, and social skills development, to name a few. The state has its own preschool program, and, according to Bell (2021), North Carolina spent $5,355 per child during the years 2019-2020. As a result, such initiative already helped almost half of the children from less wealthy backgrounds to start their pre-K education.
Bell, L. (2021). Pre-K access stagnant last school year, no more ‘low-cost opportunities’. EdNC. Web.
Pew. (2011). Pre-K Now: Marking a decade of pre-K milestones. Web.