Hope and Education

Image credit: interactioninstitute.org

By Wayne Russell

My philosophy that hope and education are weaved together began during my graduate studies.  My thesis project was about how children need a sense of hope in order for great learning to take place.  If children do not have a healthy level of hope that their future will be good, the level of energy they place in their education will be affected.  Whereas children with a healthy amount of hope will work hard towards realizing their dreams.

One of my favorite authors on education, Dr. Ruby Payne, pointed me to a great study on hope and poverty.  The study found that "an absence of hope" had helped keep people in poverty.

The study in essence monitored the effects of a program that assisted people in West Bengal with a basic need.  The people in West Bengal needed a way to pull in greater financial resources.  By helping meet this need, the people began "eating 15% more, earning 20% more each month and skipping fewer meals than people in a comparison group." The program began giving people hope that their present lives could be different.

Education is a basic need. Yes, we need water, food, and shelter, but we also need a good education.  Water, food and shelter minus a good education will keep a person alive, but will do little to erase the root cause of no water, no food, no shelter: Lack of good educational opportunities.

We need people to go into countries with poor educational options, to give children an education that will brighten their opportunities, and to ultimately give them hope.

What will you do to help?
To learn more about the West Bengal study, visit... http://www.freakonomics.com/2012/05/23/hope-and-poverty/