Academics, Our World UN

#029

OUT OF THE POVERTY TRAP THROUGH HIGHER ASPIRATIONS? 
Jukka Pirttilä (2015.02.06)

Interesting article talking about the relationship between being poor and intellectual capabilities. Being under a lot of stress (especially for budget reasons) prevents people from using their whole intellectual potential. As the article states, “poverty takes up our attention, and our intellectual capacity is limited in the same way as our budgets are”.

In the past, I’ve read an article about race and exam results. It was a really interesting study that established that racial prejudices often have an impact on minorities’ test results. Asking people what “ethnicity” they belonged to before an exam was actually influencing their results. African-American tended to have less good grades when writing their ethnic identity on the test, while Asian people were generally doing better in maths.

Also, the idea of “low aspiration” is a issue that was talked about in my school. In France, country where the education system is terribly elitist, the main issue is the one of “aspiration”. When kids are raised in a neighborhood where little people went to university, the idea of applying for an Institute for Political Science is not really natural. Some kids might not even know that such an institution does exist. It does not mean that they do not have the potential to go to these kinds of schools, just that they do not imagine themselves going there. Therefore, I also agree that aspiration is a key to allow people to access better education. It is a good thing to imagine new entrance exams which allow people from different backgrounds to enter the school. But if the people you’re targeting do not even know about your school (or do not picture themselves applying for it),then it is useless. There is a much deeper problem that needs to be taken care of and I think that we tend to forget that easily.

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Listening to: 15& – 사랑은 미친짓 (Feat. 칸토 of 트로이)

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