For Poor Students, Why College Should Be More Than A Path to Upward Mobility

| January 20, 2014 | 2 Comments
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Educators often try to motivate students to work hard in school by emphasizing that college is the best path towards economic and social mobility. In his Atlantic article, Andrew Simmons questions whether that should be the motivating factor for students from less-privileged backgrounds. Getting a college education isn’t just about earning money in the future, it’s also about intellectual passion.

“College should be ‘sold’ to all students as an opportunity to experience an intellectual awakening. All students should learn that privilege is connected to the pursuit of passions. People are privileged to follow their hearts in life, to spend their time crafting an identity instead of simply surviving. Access to higher education means that your values and interests can govern your choices.”

The Danger of Telling Poor Kids That College Is the Key to Social MobilityA 12th-grader wrote a college admissions essay about wanting to pursue a career in oceanography. Let’s call her Isabella. A few months ago, we edited it in my classroom during lunch. The writing was good, but plenty of 17-year-olds fantasize about swimming with whales.

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  • Anon1

    Wow I was hoping this would be a great analysis or critique of the Atlantic article not simply a repost. While the article has some great points it falls flat in the end. While college is great for personal betterment if it does not provide a means for social mobility that is a significant problem and the article just glosses over the issue. The article vaguely mentions the increasing cost of tuition but fails to connect all the dots in regards to the bleak economic outlook for low income students. If there is no access to mobility through higher ed I guess we are just supposed to be happy working in the service sectore for under $10 and hour a wage no one can live on.
    “People are privileged to follow their hearts in life, to spend their
    time crafting an identity instead of simply surviving. Access to higher
    education means that your values and interests can govern your choices.” How many times is the word priveldged used? But yet the only people who are so lucky in this country are the priveledged and that’s a shriking class these days.

  • Accrid International

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    Accrid
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    (School
    Consultancy, Teacher Training)