The extent to which the life course of intellectual development is positively modifiable by systematic interventions is a topic of general interest, with more than a half-century of scientific inquiry with strong public policy implications. Systematic public education has been the most direct policy response to this topic. Middle- and upper-class families in the United States spend billions of dollars to provide their children with good education as a pathway to adult success. The most extensive scientific research, however, about the power of education to change intellectual development has been conducted with children from poor and undereducated families who are at elevated risk for lack of school readiness, subsequent poor academic performance, and a long list of social and economic shortcomings. This entry describes the ...

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