Education Cannot Solve Poverty
Poverty crushes education. Education cannot solve poverty. It is the other way around. Problems in education can be alleviated if poverty is addressed first. In "Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind", Eric Jensen makes clear that poverty can block student learning through the following factors:
- Health and nutrition
- Effort and energy
- Cognitive capacity
- Stress level
|Above figure copied from "Looking at the Best Teachers and Who They Teach"|
It’s often said that a good education will help lift children out of poverty. In fact, the opposite is more often true: not living in poverty allows children to do well in school.
Low literacy rates in low-income areas aren’t a curriculum issue or a pedagogy issue. They’re a social justice issue. Reducing poverty rates (and improving literacy) requires more than a new reading program or even better social services. It means actively working for policies that fight income inequality, like a higher minimum wage, stronger labour laws and restoration of federal and provincial corporate tax rates to fair levels. Education doesn’t happen in a vacuum.