How does poverty affect education?

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itssnigdha's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #2)

Poor children who don't eat a nourishing breakfast will not be able to pay attention in class and so they may become fidgety...

Poverty can lead to low self esteem. Children from poverty stricken homes are quick to notice that other children dress better than they do and they can become embarrassed which can cause them to withdraw in class which creates a bad learning environment.

If there is poverty in the home children are not to participate in some activities which fosters team work and binding with your peers, if there is a cost incurred.



akannan's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #3)

The previous post examines the issue quite well from the student's point of view.  From an institutional and structural valence, poverty impacts education in a variety of ways.  Initially, areas that are economically challenged can feature sub- standard facilities, such as buildings, grounds, classrooms, and textbooks.  Students, especially older ones, begin to see this feature in their educational worlds and it creates for a disparity between the opportunity ideology, which stresses what should be done, and the reality of the situation, stressing what is.  Additionally, there is a likelihood that schools which are immersed in conditions which constitute poverty might not be able to place immediate primacy on educational needs, as other and more pressing economic realities might drive the attention and focus of stakeholders.  Finally, with standards based educational reform manifested through initiatives such as No Child Left Behind, solutions to help students meet or exceed state standards might not be able to present themselves as readily.  For example, if a school is in an impoverished area and cannot afford to do so, tutoring programs and other types of assistance might have to be sacrificed, impacting the overall quality of a child's educational needs.

MaudlinStreet's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #4)

I'd like to add to both posts that although we have free K-12 education, poverty sets students at a disadvantage for higher education. Students may have to get a job to help support their family, affecting the hours they sleep and work on their homework. This can harm grades, and subsequently harm chances of going to a highly ranked school. Also, students who are socio-economically disadvantaged may not have internet access, & may not perform as well on standardized tests. Imagine, if your family can afford to spend $100 on a prep book or course for the SATs or AP exams, you will most likely be better prepared than someone who cannot. Similarly, students may have to pick and choose what exams they can actually take. If one is taking 5 AP exams in one year, even with fee reductions, the price adds up. Finally, students who are living with poverty will be at a disadvantage when applying to college, because they must consider price. They will need to work harder than their peers in order to gain merit-based scholarships. You might argue that all students can take out loans to pay for their education. Even if they are accepted and take out loans to pay, they will automatically be economically disadvantaged when they graduate, because they will be tens of thousands of dollars in debt, whereas students from wealthier families may be able to pay without taking out loans and incurring debt.

scarletpimpernel's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #5)

As the previous posts mentioned, poverty literally affects all aspects of a child's life.  Whether it be the student having to take on adult responsibilities leaving little time for school work or a child moving from school to school with no continuity in education because his caretaker cannot maintain a permanent place to live.  On a personal note, simply trying to contact the caregivers of impoverished students is difficult because I often reach disconnected numbers or send information to old addresses (there is usually not e-mail contact available).  If I cannot contact a parent to let him/her know about the struggles of a student or improvements, it has an extremely negative effect on the student and his/her progress in school.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #6)

Lack of money to pay for the education expenses is just one of the many factors that limit the ability of individuals to continue their study and do well in their study. Some of these factors are as follows.

  1. Poorer  students may face condition in their homes conditions that leaves them less time and energy for studies. This problem can become serious if conditions are so bad that they dong get adequate nourishment.
  2. Poorer students are likely to have parents, family members and neighbours who are also less educated. Such student are not able to get much guidance for  their education in their homes. This situation may further get aggravated if they have only one parent or the parents are too busy to spend time with their children.
  3. Education is also aided by general exposure to the world in general. Poorer student are likely to have less of such exposure. For example, they are less likely to travel much in their holidays.


ask996's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #7)

If you have never read the works of Dr. Ruby Payne, you should. She has dedicated a large portion of her life studying the affects of poverty on students. What she explains is that not only do children suffer the economic issues that go along with poverty, but they suffer when they and others with whom they interact do not understand the rules that go along with each socio-economic class.

So in actuality, it's the unspoken and unwritten rules of the different classes that affect the student in a more critical way. Schools are operated from a middle class set of rules, and if a student is enduring generational poverty (poverty that is ongoing from one generation to the next) vs. situational poverty (unemployment, divorce, death) it is entirely possible that s/he will not know the unspoken and unwritten rules that govern the middle class.

One brief example of the difference an unspoken rule of the poverty class might be that they will physically fight to settle a dispute over a grievance. Whereas the middle class unspoken rule is to talk it out or pursue it through legal means.

lhc's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #8)

I think poverty's impact on education probably depends in large measure on whether it is situational or generational poverty.  The poverty experienced by a newly divorced mother struggling to provide for her children without a husband is somewhat different from that experienced by a child of the inner city whose parent(s) and grandparent(s) have perhaps never known anything else.  In either case, however, it is difficult for a parent to prioritize a child's education when he or she is struggling daily to simply put food on the table.  If a parent is working two jobs, for example, the child may spend much time alone after school, with no one to supervise or help with homework, or even fix dinner.  The child may come to school fatigued, if no one was there to see that he or she got to bed on time, and in the poorest households, whether or not someone was there to fix dinner may be a moot point if there is no money for food.  To say that a child should just learn to want a better life for him or herself is a vast oversimplification of a complicated problem because he or she may not be aware that there is a better life anywhere.  Even if he or she were, the connection between education and attaining a better life may seem abstract at best, or just plain impossible at worst.  However, I think we have to be careful not to assume that all poor people, and their circumstances, are exactly alike, either.  There are patterns and rules, but poor people's individual situations vary just as anyone else's situation might differ from his or her neighbor's. 

bullgatortail's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #9)

In Florida, many inner-city schools with students from lower-class, poverty-stricken families receive "F" grades due to their less than satisfactory FCAT scores, due in part to the students' poor educational skills and training. The "F" grades result in less state funding and further embarrassment to the students, teachers and administrators, who are branded as failures.

lrwilliams's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #10)

Poverty definitely makes a difference to education. Students must have their basic needs met before they are able to learn. If a student is not sure where their next meal is coming from or where they are staying tonight, learning is not very important to them.

Jyotsana's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #11)

Poverty affects education in many way. In some country there are children who can't afford to go to school and they have to work to earn money to feed themselves. The poor children doesn't get education because they can't afford to go. When they don't have money they can't afford to buy anything such as school supplies or pay for school fees. This is how poverty affects education. Everybody should try to help decrease poverty so that it wont affect their education.

zumba96's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #12)

People who live in poverty are not always able to receive the best education because of their situation and perhaps even go to college

jess1999's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #13)

Poverty can tremendously affect education. For example, there are some families who can't afford their children to attend school. Sometimes the children needs to work in order to help out the family. Nutrition is also important for one to be successful in school. Some family might not be able to afford the right amount of nutrition a child needs.

Wiggin42's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #14)

Poverty certainly affects education,as it is getting expensive to get a graduate degree. Apart from that every stages of learning need recurrent expenses which in turn discourages poor students to pursue higher studies. Along with tuition fees, books and resource materials are also increasing consistently is also affect in getting a degree.

acompanioninthetardis's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #16)

People in poverty will be usually more focused on learning how to survive before trying to get an education, even if they decided to try to get an education, paying the fees for it would be a huge problem, and along with taking care of themselves as far as food and health-wise, it would become difficult. Hence people in poverty are unable to get education, because their primary motive is not knowledge but it is money that allows them to eat, whatever amount is needed for them of fulfill their need of survival. 

parama9000's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #17)

Children will lack the necessary basic necessities such as stationery, food, and books to go to education. Also, poverty would also result in lower accessibility to education in some regions for financial reasons.

Lastly, people in poverty care more about survival than anything else. Thus, children coming from poor backgrounds might place or be forced to place less emphasis on education.

udonbutterfly's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #18)

Poverty effects education in so many ways and sadly I have seen it first hand. Most likely those who are in poverty attend schools with poor budgets and teachers that fail to care. That child that goes to a poverty ridden school would have less opportunities to succeed and grow rather than say some one who goes to a school in a middle working class area. Also those who are poverty ridden would have the worse nutrition and skip meals in order to save money. We all know what happens when meals are skipped. It becomes difficult to maintain a straight head aside from the constant rumbling of your tummy. If someone in poverty wanted to continue their education it would be really difficult without digging into more debt especially with the price of attending college now a days.

atyourservice's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #20)

They might not be able to have sufficient food for school, also some school supplies are expensive so they might not be able to get all their supplies. 

Also if the school is not a uniform song the child might not feel confident about their clothes and might try to avoid going to school.

And they might think school is too expensive (college) making them choose to leave school and not continue with their education to the higher level.

ik9744's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #15)

You will be too hungry or distracted by hunger to learn.

crystaltu001's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #19)

People in poverty will not be able to afford food to eat in the morning so they won't be able to concentrate during class the whole day. And they can not afford clothes so people might make fun of them. Sometimes schools have fees that families have to pay and if they can not afford it then the kids can not go to school.

ik9744's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #21)

Poverty is something that is very bad, and should get help if the student is still learning. Poverty can affect the kid's education in many ways. If he/she is too hungry and won't be able to concentrate that is very bad. He or she may not be able to afford the equipment they need for school, like calculator, notebooks, binder, pencils, and etc. If they don't have the proper utensils for school then how is their education going to be the same. In school everything should be the same or fair with each other. Not different in a way where one kid can't learn due to the fact that their parents can't afford it. That's when some teacher comes in. Some teacher will provide the kids that need help with the utensils they need for her/his class and other classes. Poverty is something very bad and should talk to the principle about it. I'd bet they would love to help a child in need!

jacqsmith17's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #22)

Poverty does not have to have a negative impact on a child's education, but often times it does. A child growing up in poverty is exposed to some of the lowest facets of life. They may be products of young parents who dropped out of school, addicted to drugs, drug dealers, foster parents etc... They have seen and experienced many activities that average children may never experience. 

Poverty can affect the child's education by exposing him or her to one side of life. They are learning more so how to survive than how to obtain an education to help them leave that socioeconomic status behind and provide a better future for himself or herself. 

Poverty may have the child's mind preoccupied with health issues of an aging grandparent who may be the primary caregiver. With that being said, he or she may have to dispense medication, miss days at school, and fall behind academically. Education is placed on the back burner of life because taking care of family is more important.

Poverty subjects children to thinking that even though they are working for making minimum wage, at least they have a job. Even though these funds are minimal, a small income is better than no income. Children growing up in poverty may not understand the need to gain the skills and education needed to obtain better paying jobs. Struggling has been a way of life for their family and its being passed on from generation to generation. 

Poverty can also foster anger towards family members that have obtained the means to move into a higher socioeconomic bracket through education and feel as if that person is now obligated to use their money to take care of the rest of the family. 

Poverty during childhood can formulate a mindset to always expect handouts instead of setting personal goals to rise above their situation and gain the necessary skills to come out of poverty. 

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