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Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day: New Study Finds Students Less Motivated in School the More They Think Wealth & Income Inequality is Stacked Against Them

Academic motivation suffers when economic mobility seems out of reach is the headline of a Eureka Alert report.

Here’s an excerpt:

A draft of the study is not behind a paywall and can be accessed. It’s titled Perceptions of Socioeconomic Mobility Influence AcademicPersistence among Low Socioeconomic Status Students.

Unfortunately, the authors don’t really provide any viable suggestions on what educators can do about this challenge.

Here are my ideas:

One, of course, is for teachers to work politically to reduce some of these inequality barriers (see The Best Resources About Wealth & Income Inequality and A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism – Help Me Find More) and help our students develop the skills they need to effectively participate in public life (see The Best Websites For Learning About Civic Participation & Citizenship and The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change).

Another thing we can do in the classroom is to create opportunities within our classroom to help students build a sense of agency (see The Best Resources On Student Agency & How To Encourage It).

Lastly, I’ve previously share this in The Best Resources For Showing Students Why They Should Continue Their Academic Career:

The Boston Globe has published a short report on a to-be-published study. The study found that:

Students whose career goals did not require education (e.g., sports star, movie star) spent less time on homework and got lower grades. The good news is that the researchers found it was easy to make education more salient, and thereby motivate kids. When students were shown a graph depicting the link between education and earnings, they were much more likely to hand in an extra-credit homework assignment the next day than if they were shown a graph depicting the earnings of superstars.

Here’s more information about that study.

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Larry Ferlazzo

Larry Ferlazzo has been a high school teacher since 2003 after spending nineteen years working as a community organizer. He teaches Beginner, Intermediate, and Ad...