Education and poverty: moving beyond the comfort of depressingly familiar knowledge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


I am not inclined to belittle statistical evidence. After all, I proudly possess an O Grade Arithmetic, (co-credit to Kilwinning Academy) and belong to the generation of Geography students at the University of Strathclyde who endured a full year’s worth of quantitative data analysis classes, with only pencil, paper, handouts and an offprint of tables of statistical significance to help us along the way. My educators were supremely successful in inculcating in me a belief in the value of numbers as evidence.

However, where research inquiry generates predictable conclusions, the researcher, activist and cynic may find themselves in an unholy trinity: researchers’ bemoaning their inability to contribute something additional to knowledge; activists’ castigating time wasted by others in collecting evidence, rather than acting upon it; and cynics’ complaining being told, once again, about something that is ‘bleedin’ obvious’. Regrettably, there is much that is depressingly enduring and apparently intractable about poverty, education and the links between them in Scotland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-17
Number of pages2
JournalScottish Educational Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • poverty
  • education


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