TALKMI I The ALK Mindfulness Initiative

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Opportunity Gaps in Education

 

Opportunity Gaps in Education

 

     When speaking of educational outcomes for students, the emphasis can sometimes focus exclusively on achievement gaps between different groupings of students based on, for example, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status and place. The inherent oversight is that by using the achievement gap as the primary metric, the source of the achievement gap is overlooked i.e., the opportunity gap. According to Brown-Dean and Sawyer (2019), opportunity gaps are unequal learning chances that result from broader socioeconomic processes such as racism, nativism, classism and general dimensions of inequality. These processes shape students’ expectations while also limiting their chances to overcome their marginalized status. Achievement gaps are the result of the lack of access to equal opportunities for learning and personal development.

 

How Does TALKMI Help?

 

     TALKMI believes that one of the most effective ways to increase educational outcomes and to reduce the opportunity gap for children and young people is providing them with an environment that is understanding, supportive and nurturing. Creating connections with them is another important part of introducing mindfulness. This is done through activities such as group discussions, art projects or collaborative games. These activities can help students to form meaningful connections and to develop a sense of belonging. TALKMI feels that it is important to follow-up with children and young people

after introducing mindfulness. This is done through regular check-ins and conversations or through activities such as journaling or reflective play. These activities help to ensure that students are continuing to practice mindfulness and benefiting from it while increasing their ability to become more resilient, manage stress more effectively and to develop higher levels of concentration.

"opportunity gaps are unequal learning chances that result from broader socioeconomic processes"