In this radio report, Beth Fertig of WNYC spends time with Clancy Blair, an applied psychology professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, as he studies the popular <a href="http://www.mscd.edu/extendedcampus/toolsofthemind/index.shtml">Tools of the Mind</a> curriculum.
The preschoolers he is observing are given activities that encourage them to learn from each other, role-play and stick with a task. These are among the skills that early childhood experts believe can help train a child to be a good student.
Doing well in school isn’t just about I.Q., Dr. Blair said. It's also about what educators call self-regulation.
Dr. Blair hopes his research will finally answer the question: Are kids who regulate themselves well on track to do better at school than those who don't? If yes, educators will know how to give children a stronger foundation, especially those from low income households.
"If there are things we can do in early ed to increase ability for kids from very disadvantaged backgrounds, that’s important information to know," Dr. Blair said.