What effect does poverty have on education?A narrow explanation and specific examples would be great!

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shake99 | Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Studies have consistently shown that students from poor families face more difficulties in education than other students. This is due to a number of factors, depending on the extent of the poverty. In cases of extreme poverty, where students actually do not have enough to eat, educational outcomes are consistently low. Imagine trying to concentrate and learn when you are hungry. In households  such as these, children also may not have adequate healthcare, which will also negatively impact their ability to learn.

But it isn’t only the physical aspects of poverty that hurt students. Poor families often do not put a strong emphasis on the value of education. Kids have to buy into the idea that education matters, and that actually starts at home, not at school. If caregivers don’t create an environment in which education is valued, kids don’t take school very seriously. Families that do stress the importance of education usually start kids early, showing them books and engaging in educational activities with them before they even begin school. This doesn’t happen as often in poor families.

The unfortunate fact is that poverty is somet often cyclical and difficult to break out of. A child grows up in a poor family that doesn’t stress education. That person grows up with the same outlook and has children who grow up in a poor household that doesn’t stress education. Most people are largely the products of their environment.

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