Scarcity at school

  • Pedro De Bruyckere, Maarten Simons
  • European Educational Research Journal, February 2016, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/1474904115627821

What is it about?

The work of Mullanaithan and Shafir on the effects scarcity can have on intelligence and the decisions people make are big eye-openers. They describe how having not enough money (or time) can deliver a tunnel-vision or the idea of TINA (there is no alternative). But what does this research mean for education? In this essay Pedro De Bruyckere & Maarten Simons examine what the implications for education can be and suggest further research.

Why is it important?

We suggest new areas of research and bring to question some rules of thumb such as 'always start from the world of the learner'. What if that world means scarcity for the pupil or student?


Mr Pedro De Bruyckere
Artevelde Hogeschool

The book of Mullanaithan and Shafir - and the different studies it was based on - inspired us to write this essay. While education is only mentioned briefly in their work, the consequences of their insights can mean a lot to the educational sciences.

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The following have contributed to this page: Mr Pedro De Bruyckere