The achievement gap is a problem for many younger learners that appears to be impacted by racial and socio-economic factors (Harackiewicz, Canning, Tibbetts, Priniski & Hyde, 2016). However, social psychology interventions can be applied to help reverse the negative impacts of these factors and instill confidence in young students on the wrong end of the achievement gap (Spitzer & Aronson, 2015; Yeager & Walton, 2011). This paper will describe an intervention to address the problem of the achievement gap so as to assist in closing it.
The problem of the achievement gap is one that impacts all of society: educational disparities cause disruptions in the balance of economic opportunities for people around the whole country. As one group excels, another falls behind, which means there are fewer opportunities for the latter to succeed. Closing the achievement gap can help to create more equitability in education and allow for more even job opportunities across all populations (Harackiewicz et al., 2016).
This problem is of interest to me because I have long been aware of the achievement gap and how it can start as early as the first grade and widen from there (Palardy, 2015). I feel that companies should do more to address the achievement gap as they are also impacted by it since it limits the talent pool from which they can draw applicants or potential hires in the future.
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The more equitability there is in education, the more that companies will benefit from a larger pool of applicants who have all achieved the same standard of education and skill set acquisition. As John Diamond, assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, notes, “It’s not sustainable for society to educate some people and not others” (Ireland, 2007). Ireland (2007) shows that there is both a material and a symbolic problem at the root of this issue: the best teachers go to the best schools where they can teach the best students from the best communities; students who are behind end up getting teachers at schools that are not nearly as resourceful. If companies want to increase their chances of getting adequate talent in the future, they need to address the source of the problem early on by supporting initiatives that can close the achievement gap.
The behaviors that contribute to this issue are a failure of adequate resources to be evenly distributed among schools and also a failure of students to be challenged and provided with the….....
Harackiewicz, J. M., Canning, E. A., Tibbetts, Y., Priniski, S. J., & Hyde, J. S. (2016). Closing achievement gaps with a utility-value intervention: Disentangling race and social class. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 111(5), 745.
Ireland, C. (2007). The achievement gap, a look into the causes. Retrieved from https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2007/03/the-achievement-gap-a-look-into-causes/
Moses, L., & Kelly, L. B. (2018). ‘We’re a little loud. That’s because we like to read!’:Developing positive views of reading in a diverse, urban first grade. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 18(3), 307-337.
Palardy, G. (2015). Classroom-based inequalities and achievement gaps in first grade: The role of classroom context and access to qualified and effective teachers. Teachers College Record, 117(2), 1-48.
Spitzer, B., & Aronson, J. (2015). Minding and mending the gap: Social psychological interventions to reduce educational disparities. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(1), 1-18.
Yeager, D. S., & Walton, G. M. (2011). Social-psychological interventions in education: They’re not magic. Review of educational Research, 81(2), 267-301.