Intellectual Potential Stunted by Poverty

"Stack of Old Books" by Austin Kirk licensed under CC BY 2.0
Stack of Old Books” by Austin Kirk licensed under CC BY 2.0

Source: The Atlantic

Research published in “Coming of Age in the Other America” suggests that students who grow up in poor communities face other factors that might make the difference between their success or failure academically and in careers.

The study conducted over a ten-year process followed a number of students in Baltimore, choosing twenty representative candidates, to examine the intersection between race, poverty and opportunity. The study highlights the similarities between those students who went on to become successful in pursuing college degrees and landing good jobs, and the difference for those who did not.

Despite environmental conditions, like poor housing, many students in urban areas still prove to succeed; however, as this is not new evidence, the study found other environmental factors to stunt the academic success of students with great potential early on, These included overcrowded homes, having a parent absent and having a sense of urgency to leave their housing situation, which often leads to students taking advantage of any job opportunity – even one that has little or no room for growth. Furthermore, the study found that students who had passions – called ‘identity projects’ in the study – were 90 percent more likely to succeed, as they were motivated to move forward with their passions or simply occupied in a productive way.

With closer examination the study found that it would be helpful to implement more avenues for students to pursue identity projects in lower-income neighborhoods; investing in libraries, clubs and institutions that value such projects could help students reach their full potential more often than not.

Read full story at: The Atlantic

Justice & Poverty, News
Justice & Poverty, News