Overcoming the Constraints of Poverty on Education
One can find quite a number of scientific studies on how poverty affects learning. Take this one from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, for example (http://www.pnas.org/content/106/16/6545.long):
Childhood poverty, chronic stress, and adult working memory
And here is another one (http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1002&context=psycd_fac):
- Integration of health, nutrition, education, social, and economic development.
- Collaboration with government agencies and civil society
- Disadvantaged children (program)
- Program intensity and duration
- Direct contact with children
- Parent involvement
- Opportunities for children for initiation and exploration
- Traditional child-rearing practices with evidence-based approaches
- Staff preparation and support
- Attention to quality: structure (e.g., teacher–child ratio, group size) and processes (caregiver warmth and responsiveness)
- Improve and evaluate strategies to increase effectiveness of outreach to disadvantaged children, including orphans.
- Identify the characteristics of Early Childhood Development programs that are effective and can be expanded and implemented through existing health, nutrition, education, and social protection services
- Examine the role of child development programs in mitigating the effects of poverty
- Identify a set of globally accepted measures and indicators for child development to measure program effectiveness
- Create and test a method for estimating the costs of models of early child development programs
How Children Succeed
Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
To know more about "grit", here are some excerpts from Jonah Lehrer's article, "Which Traits Predict Success (The Importance of Grit)":
"...And this leads me to one of my favorite recent papers, “Deliberate Practice Spells Success: Why Grittier Competitors Triumph at the National Spelling Bee.” The research, published this month in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science, was led by Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at Penn. (Anders-Ericsson is senior author.)... ...The first thing Duckworth, et. al. discovered is that deliberate practice works... ...The bad news is that deliberate practice isn’t fun and was consistently rated as the least enjoyable form of self-improvement. Nevertheless, as spellers gain experience, they devote increasing amounts of time to deliberate practice. This suggests that even twelve year olds realize that this is what makes them better, that success isn’t easy.......Factors like grit are often the most predictive variables of real world performance. Thomas Edison was right: even genius is mostly just perspiration."