Research Article

What Makes them Aspire: A Study on the Educational Aspirations of the Poor


  • Andie P. Padernilla Public Schools District Supervisor, Schools Division of Iloilo, Iloilo, Philippines
  • Nordy D. Siason Jr. Faculty, Iloilo State College of Fisheries, Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, Philippines
  • Jose Jimenez Patubo Part-time Faculty, University of San Agustin, Iloilo City, Philippines


This qualitative-constructivist study sought to investigate the social and economic circumstances affecting the ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors that shaped the educational aspirations of the poor. With data collected through interviews of seven (7) participants chosen through purposive sampling and categorized as ‘poor’ by the City Social Welfare and Development Office, this paper employed the inductive thematic analysis. Results showed that the educational aspirations of the poor were affected by social circumstances such as having no family support, a large family, and limited schooling of the household members, while economic circumstances such as being poor, having low-wage parents, and working at an early age respectively. The poor’s educational aspirations were shaped by the ‘push’ factors of low earning potential and lack of opportunities for advancements and ‘pull’ factors of high employment probability and better economic conditions. Generally, the participants had high educational aspirations and viewed education as a treasure/tool, support, and protection. Discussions, implications, conclusions, and recommendations were advanced from the themes that emerged from the series of in-depth interviews with the participants.

Article information


Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies

Volume (Issue)

4 (3)





How to Cite

Padernilla, A. P., Nordy D. Siason Jr., & Patubo, J. J. (2022). What Makes them Aspire: A Study on the Educational Aspirations of the Poor. Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies, 4(3), 28–47.



Educational aspirations, poor, push and pull factors, social and economic dimensions