You may or may not have heard about the big study released earlier this month about the role of social capital in reducing poverty. You can read the NY Times article about it at Vast New Study Shows a Key to Reducing Poverty: More Friendships Between Rich and Poor or read the actual study here.
It’s based on Facebook data showing who is friends with whom, and I’m not sure I would bet the farm on any study entirely based on info from that site.
Nevertheless, it’s interesting, and the accompanying interactive, called Social Capital Atlas, is even more interesting.
It claims to show social capital levels by county, zip code, high school, and college.
The New York Times also created its own interactive about the study.
It seems like it could make for some interesting classroom lessons and discussions. In my upcoming fourth book about student motivation, I talk about “Hyper Personalization” as a way to help enhance the conditions for intrinsic motivation in the classroom, and using school and neighborhood-based info play into that idea.
If you’d like to learn more about the concept of social capital, you can visit The Best Resources On Social Capital In Schools, which also talks about how the concept itself has a school-based origination story.