On programs to help disadvantaged children

“… what actually happens in the course of many programs that claim to set out to remedy disadvantage is that target children are forced to spend time doing things they are not good at and deprived of opportunities to practice doing things they are good at. This is bad enough by itself. But the seriousness of the problem is exacerbated by the fact that most of the talents they might have developed cannot … show up on most of the tests developed by psychologists and are thus unable to register in most of the evaluation studies conducted by psychologists. Worse, these evaluations are largely framed and conducted within a reductionist, single-outcome focus rather than a comprehensive or ecological evaluation framework. In the end, this whole network of interlocking activities contributes to the autopoietic process that is heading our species toward extinction.”

Raven, J. (2005). More Problems With Gap Closing Philosophy and Research. American Psychologist 60(9), 1041–1042.

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