Parent-based early childhood interventions do make a difference! A rebuttal to See and Gorard (2015a)

Keith Goldstein, Angela Vatalaro, Gad Yair

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to refute See and Gorard’s paper published in this journal in 2015 which argues that parent-based interventions for school readiness are ineffective. Design/methodology/approach: Methods and results from 107 studies that were cited in See and Gorard (2015a) and associated reports were reviewed. Evaluations were made based on comparing the original studies with the summaries of those studies in the publication. Findings: In this rebuttal, the authors show how See and Gorard erred to correctly report methods, sample sizes, outcomes measured, and the actual results of prior research. Practical implications: The authors suggest that See and Gorard do not provide solid evidence within their article to back up their claims about parent intervention programs. This rigorous review of See and Gorard’s primary sources reveals that the empirical evidence stands contrary to the claims being made. See and Gorard inaccurately reviewed publications which contradict their conclusions, and they relied on a vast amount of unpublished papers by students to support their claims. Originality/value: The authors demonstrate how See and Gorard misapplied their own standards of evaluation; the authors claim that their source materials contradict the “finding” they purport to present; and the authors argue that they chose lesser known studies when more reputable ones were available.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)224-238
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Children's Services
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Early childhood programs
  • Inequality in school readiness
  • Program assessment
  • Research assessment
  • School readiness
  • Social inequality of life chances


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