Experience of disadvantage: The influence of identity on engagement in working class students’ educational trajectories to an elite university

Tamara Thiele, Daniel Pope, Alexander Singleton, Darlene Snape, Debbi Stanistreet, British Educational Research Journal, Dec 12, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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A willingness to work hard, an ability to resist negative social pressure, and a desire to prove sceptical parents and peers wrong - these are traits that characterized those from disadvantaged social groups who did attend a top-tier university, as compared to those who didn't. These are the conclusions of a British Educational Research Journal study published today. It all rings true for me (despite the small size of the study, which should invite caution). People may read this and say "oh yeah, you need grit." Or some such thing. But to me it speaks to the wider social conditions we need to address to help people move beyond a disadvantaged background and achieve more in life.

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