Lucy Cragg answered on 6 May 2015:
My expertise isn’t really in this area but I’ve been doing a bit of research as tonight’s live chat was so quiet! From what I can find most studies addressing this look at younger vs. older children within the same year group, e.g. 5-5.5 vs 5.5-6, rather than starting at 4 vs 6 for example. It’s hard to compare different countries that start at different ages as there are so many factors other than age that differ between the samples.
A study carried out in Croatia (summarised here: http://ieeyork.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/does-school-entrance-age-matter.html, full pdf: https://www.dropbox.com/s/r6kmnpthkakepia/Sakic_et_al-2013-British_Journal_of_Educational_Psychology.pdf?dl=0) compared children starting at 6yrs 5 months – 6yrs 8 months to those starting between 6 yrs 9 months and 7 years 4 months. At 10 years old there was a small difference in achievement across most subjects between the older and younger groups, but this difference was no longer significant at 14 years. From the literature they review in their introduction it seems as though most studies that have found differences in achievement do so across all subjects, although one subject found differences in maths and science but not English language.
If you look at your last question from the other point of view and ask if starting later puts children at a disadvantage, then evidence from New Zealand suggests that by age 10, children who started learning to read at 7 (in Steiner schools) had caught up with those who started learning to read at 5: http://ieeyork.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/children-who-learn-to-read-later-do.html
Colin Espie answered on 7 May 2015:
Jaymo: Not really my field I’m afraid; so I’ll leave it to others to comment!
Kathryn Asbury answered on 8 May 2015:
Regardless of the age at which children start school their age needs to be taken into account in assessments of their ability . This has been explained beautifully and clearly in a blog post by Professor Dorothy Bishop at Oxford. I highly recommend it – focused on summer born children who start school at 4. http://deevybee.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/great-expectations-our-early.html
It seems to me that we don’t really know whether starting school young actively causes harm but evidence from international studies such as PISA suggests that, either way, starting school later doesn’t -particularly when a later start to formal education is combined with high quality play-based kindergarten.
Mark Mon-Williams answered on 14 May 2015:
I don’t really have anything to add to the other answers but I would point out that we’d need to define what we mean by ‘formal education’ to answer this question.
My hunch (with no supporting evidence!) is that getting children to sit at desks and engage in the type of activities normally associated with secondary schools from a very early age is likely to be harmful. My rationale is that a critically important part of learning involves physical interactions with the environment and learning how objects behave (this notion is somewhat formalised in the writings of Piaget, 1954 and theories of ’embodied cognition’) so removing such opportunities is potentially detrimental to children.
Conversely, providing opportunities for children to socialise with other children and have access to environments that might otherwise be unavailable (e.g. sandpits) – especially for children from low socioeconomic groups – might be extremely beneficial.
What is cell phone/tablet use in early childhood doing to the rate of literacy acquisition?
What are the effects of caffeine on the brain and learning? Are there any studies looking at different aged children?
Do we have any active research in the UK in the use of mental imagery in learning - spelling, reading, maths,
I was wondering if people know of good studies supporting either side in the 'math' wars ? My suspicion is that skils
how can teachers help students retain information to help them succeed in maths?
I am from Dubai and in my class many pupils are bilingual, trilingual and English is only spoken at school. What is
hello I am a French teacher. sorry for my bad English. I wonder if you already meet pupils who consider numbers as
I read that fish oils are supposed to help with brain function. Please could you explain how this works?
How do you feel about children spending more and more of their free time with virtual friends online?
What is some simple music with a strong beat that an autistic child in time might move, run, cycle, giggle or hum to?
I am really interested in getting involved in doing some research. What is the best way to do this? (2 Comments)
Hi We are very much focus on how the ‘brain’ may influence learn both as researchers and teachers. Two part question: How much do we really appreciate/understand the effects of a more ‘dynamic unified body including brain approach’ to inform pedagogic practice, students’ engagement and participation in learning Many Thanks mpmp (1 Comment)
What is the best test for working memory for young children? Is the Baddeley tripartite memory model still (1 Comment)
I would like to know your views on the use of mobile phones in schools? Is here any evidence to show it decreases
Is it effective to employ wrote learn of definitions to ensure pupils can parrot it back when their current linguistic (1 comment)
Should we consolidate learning by regular revision of past topics throughout the year? For example, I have heard that (1 comment)
What is the best test for working memory for young children? Is the Baddeley tripartite memory model still (1 comment)
I am really interested in getting involved in doing some research. What is the best way to do this? (2 comments)
Hi We are very much focus on how the 'brain' may influence learn both as researchers and teachers. Two part question: How much do we really appreciate/understand the effects of a more 'dynamic unified body including brain approach' to inform pedagogic practice, students' engagement and participation in learning Many Thanks mpmp (1 comment)