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Adam KellyHHG4MI-01Ms. HibbardWednesday, December 20th, 2017Education’s Impact on Development    Education is the basis for knowledge. Learning, knowledge, and teaching are the three things that set humans apart from the pack. Knowledge is the deadliest weapon in any war and the basis for all civilization. Every aspect of education in young children is important, every minute detail is exaggerated as children grow up. Think of the butterfly effect, a butterfly beating its wings could start a hurricane somewhere else. Just like even a small trauma during childhood, could drastically change the psyche of an adult. The small choices lead to large outcomes down the line, and that is why it is so important to get kids a solid education. Failure to complete an education in both developed and undeveloped nations either leads to living right around the poverty line or failing to escape it (Damme, 2017). While completing at least a high school education can give children the ‘leg up’ advantage they need to make it in such a competitive, often unforgiving, and cruel world (Breslow, 2012). It is a well-known fact that the early years of one’s life are the greatest influence on the rest of one’s life. Personality, values, relationships, skills, and even morals develop largely in these beginning years (Perry, 2017). It is important to acknowledge that education is one of, if not the largest contributor to kids development during these years.The impacts of education on youth and their permeable brains start as soon as there is an option to be enrolled in school, even preschool. The choice parents make about enrolling in preschool can end up affecting the children both in the long-term sense and short term. Studies have shown that enrollment in quality pre educational programs has many long and short-term benefits for children. Children who attend preschool are on average more advanced than those who did not attend (Perry, 2017). Going to preschool is essential to the positive development of the child. When children are enrolled in preschool it is shown that they have more advanced thought processes, above average socialization skills, while also having a better learning capacity and cognitive skills, in comparison to their classmates that were not enrolled in any type of pre-education (Perry, 2017). Preschool is looked at as a quick way to begin training children for school and what is to come in the next 14-15 years of their life. It gives children an opportunity to develop skills that they might not be able to learn without peers of the same age around them (Peck, 2017). Preschool is not in any sense mandatory, although, a failure to enroll one’s child in any type of preschool can put the child a little behind the starting block (Perry, 2017). In underserved communities, those who attended preschool showed more cognitive improvement than their peers without preschool according to a Colombian University study and (Perry, 2017). The activities in preschool often help to organize the brain and start helping to regulate which parts of the brain will perform which tasks, from problem-solving in the frontal lobe to memory and receptive language in the temporal lobe. New synaptic connections will form, and the processing of thought will become more efficient. All these new connections and organizations, brain plasticity, will allow kids that attend preschool to be one step ahead of those that do not. (Klob, Gibb, & Robinson, 2003).The stories are out there, dropouts becoming successful and starting million dollar companies and startups. The misconception is that the vast majority of these ‘dropout’ stories are that these people are already well educated, and are dropping out of university or college rather than high school. Dropping out of high school almost never leads to success, especially in the constantly shrinking and competitive job market. Those that complete high school have a major advantage in life overall over those who do not. In America, in 2012, the average income for a high school dropout was $20,441, only $9,000 above the poverty line, $10,386 less than the average high school grad, and a full $36,424 less than the average bachelor’s degree holder (Breslow, 2012). These numbers are nothing short of staggering. Anyone who does not complete high school is very susceptible to living in poverty, and many do (Breslow, 2012). Job stability is almost nonexistent, and losing a job, whether it be through layoffs or other reasons can be very detrimental to one’s survival, especially when they do not have any cushion to fall back on. Like mentioned earlier the average dropout lives only $9,000 per year above the poverty line which means that there really isn’t a possibility to save any money. With the little money they make, surviving is difficult enough, putting money away for retirement or a safety fund ends up being an afterthought (Breslow, 2012). Not getting a solid education, dropping out of high school, makes finding a job is much more difficult. In 2012, unemployment overall was 8.1%. While the rate for those without a highschool degree was measured at 12%, and those who graduated at least college cruised by at an easy 4.1% (Breslow, 2012). These statistics provide a window into the hardships that one might face if they could not complete high school. Part of the reason that the average high school dropout makes less money in comparison to someone who graduated is because employers are less willing to hire a dropout without the degree when they could easily hire someone who has proven they had the resilience to finish. In addition to financial benefits, finishing high school allows one to explore different paths, and build new synaptic connections. These synaptic highways are built through repetition and practice of newly found knowledge and tasks. High school will physically make the brain smarter through this process. The whole purpose of school is to learn new things, and through this process of synaptic pruning is how the brain successfully learns new things (Hoiland).Maria Montessori was a very influential person in the world of modern education, as she set many school systems on the path to the modern day education system we know today. Maria was the first woman to ever graduate from medical school at the University of Rome, and the best way to describe her is that she had a passion for the disabled, and a will to educate the ‘uneducable’ (Hibbard, 2017). Maria Montessori developed an innovative method of education and one of the main things she focused on was hands on learning and learning through play (Hibbard, 2017). Maria’s idea that education should be both hands on, and focused on the kids needs, really shaped the way early education happens today. The province of Ontario’s newest curriculum for kindergarten was created to allow children to do just that, to play and learn simultaneously, “Play nourishes every aspect of children’s development. … Play develops the foundation of intellectual, social, physical, and emotional skills necessary for success in school and in life. It “paves the way for learning,”(Canadian Council on Learning, 2006). It is important to understand the impact that Maria has had on Education as we know it today. The education system she has pioneered is very essential for the development of youth, and aided countless people. The concept of play based learning and hands on discovery was not integral, if integrated at all in classrooms before Montessori, and this way of learning has been proven to be successful again and again. The majority of schools across Canada have adopted such a system. (Play-based learning in a culture of inquiry, 2016). This system of education also highlights the idea that the environment should be fit for children, not adults. The use of child size furniture, and the inclusion of decorations around the classroom make the room not just child friendly but inviting overall. The tools and equipment also need to be the child’s size (Hibbard, 2017). The important part of this is to understand that to learn properly, it’s essential to feel included (Kelly, 2017). The children learn equally from themselves and their experiences as they do from the teacher. The curriculum documents by the government of Ontario talk about how the learning is done through a culture of Inquiry, and to foster questions, kids must first feel welcomed and included (Play-based learning in a culture of inquiry, 2016).The impacts of education really do last throughout one’s life, especially into early adulthood. In western society, education is everything, with the majority of kids being pushed to go to some type of postsecondary education. Well educated people reap many benefits and lead statistically better lives than uneducated or poorly educated individuals (What impact does education have on your wellbeing?, 2014). Those that achieve higher levels of education in their youth are proven to have a whole range of positive benefits to their personalities and life, according to a massive research project by Cardiff University. It was stated that higher levels of education are correlated with a wide range of positive outcomes. Things such as better health and wellbeing, greater political interest, higher social trust, lower political cynicism, and less hostile attitudes towards immigrants (What impact does education have on your wellbeing?, 2014). These results from the surveys should not be very shocking. Education can serve as a great platform for getting one’s life started. Well educated people often value learning and knowledge over most other virtues, and stay well informed on the issues that affect them both directly and indirectly (Breslow, 2012). They are financially stable and well informed on issues. Having financial security allows one to explore their interests and be happier overall, they might be more trusting in the process of politics and social systems because the system has worked for them (What impact does education have on your wellbeing?, 2014). Education has many impacts on other aspects of life, not just the financial side. One’s entire life and the path one builds for themselves is dependant on the level of education one reaches. The people one might associate themselves with, their ability to hold a conversation, the home they live in, the neighbourhood they reside in, everything, stems from the decisions made at a young age about education. There is a strong tie between education and social identity. (Identity, Socioeconomic Status and Well-Being, 2013). People perceive their social identities in a positive light, it is part of human nature to compare their idea of their identity against the social identities of others. This appears to be for good reason: group members benefit from a range of positive outcomes if their group has a positive social identity, including increased well-being, social acceptance of other groups, decreased intergroup hostilities, and an increase in self confidence. Education is so important because of the fact that many social interactions throughout life come with comparisons, and uneducated people can often come away from situations with a feeling of inferiority and a negative social identity. This is dangerous and can be bad for mental health. There are many social traps that stem from lack of education, and it can and will affect the mental health of those who are not educated, or not educated well (Identity, Socioeconomic Status and Well-Being, 2013).In summary, education is the most impactful part of many children’s lives. It is unbelievably important in brain organization, and brain development. It turns out that education is one of the more important influencers on how one socializes later on in life, and the values they pick up and believe in, from honesty, to nobility. Education is also greatly correlated with success and stability financially. Lastly, the famous educational theorist Maria Montessori was discussed, and the correlation between her ideas and modern education were observed. So with all of this in mind, take some time to think about people in your life. Think about the path their lives lead them on, and how education has influenced their life path. While thinking and analyzing your friends and families paths, use the information you have learned through this paper, and through your observations to look at your own path, and think about how you have become the person you are today.

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