Teaching Poor Kids

EEGs show poor kids having a lower response in the prefrontal cortex:

“Kids from lower socioeconomic levels show brain physiology patterns similar to someone who actually had damage in the frontal lobe as an adult,” said Robert Knight, director of the institute and a UC Berkeley professor of psychology. “We found that kids are more likely to have a low response if they have low socioeconomic status, though not everyone who is poor has low frontal lobe response.”

How can we take eudaimonia and the life of the mind as a goal without tackling the problems of poverty? If kids are hampered not just by external circumstances but by the mental differences resulting from it as well, then leave off even social mobility: the very soul is injured, and to do nothing is to ignore the violence that society is doing to the souls of poor kids.

The goal of educating them, then, cannot primarily be getting them into college. It must be the object of learning far more fundamental than that.


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