Essay about Effects Of Summer And Winter Born Children

Essay about Effects Of Summer And Winter Born Children

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A much debated question for several years has been whether or not children born in summer months are at a disadvantage academically or socially in comparison to their older peers. On one hand, both national and international studies have found research evidence which suggests that summer born children are continuously at a disadvantage as a result of their age throughout their education – for example, Daniels et al (2000) found that younger pupils in the school year consistently scored lowers in academic tests than their older peers, which suggests that they are at an academic disadvantage. On the other hand, additional research such as that from Black, Devereux and Salvanes (2011) has suggested that school starting age does not influence the academic ability of a child, or indeed influence them later on in adolescence or adulthood.
It has been suggested that the fluctuations in academic ability between summer and winter born children may be a result of prenatal issues. Orme (1962) suggested that summer born children may have an increased risk of being prenatally exposed to infections during the winter, which could increase their chances of developing birth defects which could later have a negative impact on their academic success. However, research in countries where children born in the autumn are the youngest in their teaching group criticises this – Bergund (1967) found that children born in autumn months performed worse than their peers born in the summer, which suggests that summer born children should not delay their year of entrance to primary school as they are still capable of performing equivalent to their autumn born peers.
It has also been argued that not delaying the entrance of summer born children into primary edu...

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...h for and against summer born children delaying their entrance to primary education, research more strongly indicates that summer born children are not too young and therefore do not need to delay their entrance. As concluded by Ilg and Ames (1965), entrance age is generally a poor predictor of how a child will academically develop throughout their education. As well as this, social factors also need to be evaluated: although research such as Muhlenweg (2010) discovered that summer born children were more prone to bullying and low self esteem, it can be argued that this came from a small sample of school children and so cannot be accurately generalised to the entire population of summer born children. Thus it can be accurately concluded that summer born children would not be at any disadvantage if they entered primary education at the same time as their older peers.

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