One of the overarching issues that the village faces is a sense of inferiority vis-à-vis the city. The language that many of them use to describe themselves and their village in comparison to the city and city dwellers illustrates a certain deference, calling themselves “small,” and city people “big” and “important.” This image is perpetuated by the media, which is based in and tends to focus on urban areas. In addition, children from lower castes and poorer families tend to be cognizant of their relative social position. Student participation and performance clearly reflects local social hierarchies, as those from high caste and relatively wealthy families are much more active in class and perform better on the assessments we give them. Completely untangling cause and effect is not possible, but these social institutions are clearly having a corrosive effect on these children’s performance. This feeling of lowliness then translates into a feeling of hopelessness and fatalism, in which the children have low expectations and aspirations.
Research Professor. Director at Learning Change Project – Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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