ERIC Number: ED336226
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Nov-15
Reference Count: N/A
Schooling for Self-Esteem: An Alternative Look at Parental and Pupil Views in Disadvantaged Third World Areas.
Baker, Victoria J.
This paper, based on field research and a literature review, examines the beliefs about education as held by people in developing countries. Parents and students in disadvantaged third world areas value education for the sake of learning, not just to improve chances of modern-sector employment. A study in four Mexican rural schools found that when parents were asked, "What are the advantages of sending your child to school?", they most often cited reasons categorized as "education for its own sake." Similarly, a study in a Lebanese civil war setting found that despite the fact that students found no relation between education and the realities of the world, they placed a very high value on education. They viewed education as an enriching experience, desirable for enhancing one's self-esteem. Two fieldwork studies in Sri Lanka found that parents did not perceive education solely as an opportunity for their children to escape poverty. Although parents ideally wanted their children to obtain salaried jobs, they were realistic about the slim chances of getting a job. They saw education as a permanent gift that could be given to children so that they could live their lives as "good people." Another participant observation study in Senegal interviewed 32 men and women of varied age groups and social statuses. When questioned about the importance of education, all respondents said they felt education was important, and only four of the reasons given stressed that this importance was related to gaining a government job. The answers indicated a deep respect for knowledge. Dwellers of disadvantaged areas should be given every opportunity to participate in education for the sake of spreading knowledge and increasing self-esteem. (KS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Mexico; Senegal; Sri Lanka
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (88th, Washington, DC, November 15, 1989).