How childhood aspirations translate into motivation to succeed in adulthood

November 30, 2018 - 6:29 PM
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My Dream in a Shoebox
TeamAsia Managing Director Bea Lim encouraging the Payatas Orione Foundation scholars to study hard so they can achieve their dream careers. (TeamAsia/file photo)

A group that advocates for children’s education sought to encourage more underprivileged Filipino children to pursue their dreams and aspirations during the celebration of the National Children’s Month.

TeamAsia’s campaign called “My Dream in a Shoebox” introduced ten Payatas Orione Foundation (PAOFI) grade school scholars from Barangay Payatas, Quezon City to the various career paths they may take in the future during an educational trip to Museo Pambata in Manila last November 23..

The grade school children were scholars of the non-profit organization that provides underprivileged families and their children with nutritional, medical and educational needs.

“Children have the incredible potential to make a difference. While they are young, it is crucial that we expose their creative minds to the world – to give them a bigger perspective and stimulate them to dream bigger dreams,” said Bea Lim, managing director of TeamAsia, the spearheading organization of My Dream in a Shoebox.

The children were given a tour of the museum and given the opportunity to play and explore its exhibits.

They were also given a Dream Map chart to fill in and a coloring book with different professions.

My Dream in a Shoebox is an education initiative established in 2009 by TeamAsia and the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines.

It supports the dreams of impoverished children by providing them shoe boxes filled with school supplies. People can help its advocacy by donating on its website.

Aspirations and dreams of children  

The group cited a study from the British Educational Research Journal on May 12, 2015 showing that a child’s level of aspiration, whether high or low, reflect their motivation to succeed in the future.

“Most large-scale studies of adolescent aspirations in the UK have identified aspirations as generally higher than parental achievements or than what the labor market might allow, and many maintain that high aspirations result in positive outcomes,” the researchers said.

Moreover, the researchers found that social status also plays an important role on a person’s pursuit of educational attainment.

“Children from lower-class backgrounds tend to have lower educational aspirations and to aspire to less prestigious occupations than their more advantaged peers,” they said.

An article from the Guardian says that this differs from expectations.

“Aspirations are about wanting to be better, whereas expectations convey a belief about the likelihood of success. Raising expectations has been proven to help pupils, but the same can’t be said for aspirations,” Bradley Busch wrote.

While having great ambitions is good, Busch advises to make expectations more realistic to the student’s abilities.

Evidence suggests that when expectations are unrealistic – that is, if they far exceed a child’s ability – this can lead to a downturn in academic performance,” he said.

National Children’s Month

The month-long celebration for children’s rights was made official on July 28, 2014 by virtue of Republic Act No. 10661.

It was made to commemorate the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations General Assembly on November 20, 1989.

UNICEF declares November 20 as the worldwide observance of Children’s Day.

The event this year launches the Philippine Plan of Action to End Violence against Children with the theme “Isulong: Tamang Pag-aaruga Para sa Lahat ng Bata.”

Many children’s rights groups in the Philippines, such as the National Youth Commission and the Child Rights Network, organized programs to raise awareness on protecting children against forms of violence.

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