Teachers’ beliefs about poverty: a barrier we must face

The poorest children have the lowest educational results, which the neoliberal model has deepened. The State transferred its responsibility to private and municipalities through supply subsidies, but the amount did not ensure quality. To solve this problem, it provides an additional subsidy for each “priority” child, demanding accountability, but with high institutional and individual consequences. But the gap remains, and teachers are held accountable for these low results. The literature shows that teachers hold beliefs that prevent them from dealing constructively with this reality. Beliefs about poverty were investigated by asking 828 teachers from low and lower-middle SES schools with standardized test scores above and below the average of similar schools to point out four characteristics of vulnerable schools. The data were analyzed by means of thematic and semantic field analysis. A shared narrative was found, independent of the type of school, attributing failure to the degraded context that surrounds it, from which the families and children come. Neoliberal policies based on accountability have intensified the work of the teacher and the constant threat has led them to self-defense. There is an urgent need to change the approach if opportunities for the poorest children are to be improved.
Beliefs, Poverty, Teachers, Accountability, Social justice