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Chapter 4

ECO352H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Poverty Trap

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Nicholas Li

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How does educational elitism in developing countries hurt poor students inside and outside the
- When a new kind of developed education system, in where based on previous scores, the
class was divided into two sections – the ones who got a lower score and the ones who
got a higher score
oThe teachers were randomly assigned to the two sections, and the teacher who
received the lower grade class was upset, and already had a mindset of pessimism
and selfishness. They often ended up not teaching
- The whole caste system – teachers of lower castes already have a mindset that children
from lower caste systems have no hope in being intelligent, and often gave them lower
scores during the test, in contrast to when they were not given the name or caste of
student, they gave higher grades
- This causes a poverty trap, and destines the child to be on the left side of S curve, even if
there was not one in place
- Stereotypes when students/children are reminded of their social status, caste system,
race that may be considered a minority, they perform worse than the children on the
“higher” level of the social class hierarchy
oWhy? Fear of being graded based on their case (they think that a prejudice exists
already because of their caste)
oOr just because of the normalization of the stereotype in society. If a child expects
to find school difficult, she will blame herself for being stupid and may not end up
- Curriculum in developing countries are made to benefit elite classes and elite schools
oLeave out children for example that may struggle with English, or learning
disabilities, so these children get left behind, because the main goal of teaching
(in private schools) is to prepare the best students to take a hard public exam that
can be the opening doors for college
- Parents also want the elite education delivered to their kids
- Rich go to school where they learned better, and treated better
oPoor go to schools where it is made clear that they are not wanted unless they
have some sort of gift
oThese children usually drop out, or don’t even go to school and are victims of
misjudgments :
Parents give up too early, teachers don’t teach, children’s lack of
- Example: Raman Boards
oOne day, Raman found a young very poor man, begging for a job and had
engineer degree but no college experience
oRaman gave him job based on a quick test that he was impressed by the results
and because of the man’s insistence
oLong story short, the company ended up doing extremely well because of this
man and his brilliance and was bought out by a Swedish company
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