Impact of Poverty on Education Marcia Melton EDCI 6300 Summer, 2007
Introduction • The United States has about 74.5 million children. Even though our county is one of the world’s 24 wealthiest country’s, the United States has the highest child poverty rate. (UNICEF, 2007) • Twenty percent of children are from poverty. (Payne, 2001) (Jenson, 2007) • Forty percent live in low-income families. (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2006) • It is easy to see that public education is greatly impacted by these children who may come to school lacking fundamental resources that in turn affect their learning.
Overview • Impact of Poverty on Learning • Payne • Marzano • Hart and Risley • Implications for Educators • Conclusion
Impact of Poverty on Learning • Poverty effects student learning in many ways. Jenson (2007) notes that poverty results in brain changes from several factors: nutritional deficits, lack of emotional support, stress/distress, health issues, cognitive stimulation, and safety issues.
Payne’s Definition of Poverty • “The extent to which an individual does with out resources.” (Payne, A Framework for Poverty, 2001)
Resources Include • Financial-often used to define poverty levels, financial resources does not explain the differences in success with which individuals leave poverty. • Emotional-perseverance, persistence, stamina and control of emotions • Mental-the ability to process information • Spiritual-believing in a divine purpose and guidance
Resources Continued • Physical-having physical health • SupportSystems-friends and family • Relationships/RoleModels-having access to an appropriate and nurturing adult “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.”Dr. James Comer (1995) • Knowledge of the HiddenRules-these exist in poverty, middle class and in wealth. They are the understandings that cue members of the group.
Marzano’s Findings • High Correlation between poverty and academic success • Students from low economic status had much higher failing rates, 63 to 85 percent higher
Hart and Risley • Welfare children experience 500 affirmatives and 1,100 prohibitions per week • Working class children experience 1,200 affirmatives and 700 prohibitions per week
Hart and Risley Continued • They also found that young children from poverty families have about 70 percent of the vocabulary of the same aged child in a working-class family and about 45 percent of the vocabulary of a child from a professional family.
Implications for Educators • Declarative Knowledge-what the learner knows or understands • ProceduralKnowledge-what the learner is able to do • Dimensions of Learning, Marzano and Pickering (1997)
The Importance of Mental Models • Students come to school with a background of existing information or their own mental models. • Background information impacts a student’s ability to process and store information.
Six Principals for Building Background Knowledge (Marzano, 2004) • background knowledge is stored in bimodal packets • the process of storing experiences in permanent memory can be enhanced • background knowledge is multidimensional and its value is contextual • even surface-level background knowledge is useful • background knowledge manifests itself as vocabulary knowledge • virtual experiences can enhance background knowledge
Most Important Mental Model for Poverty Students (Payne, 2002) • Students need to understand Time • Includes past, present and future • Constructing a mental model for time is critical for understanding cause, effect, consequence and sequence • Students who do not have a mental model for time can not plan
Drawbacks to Mental Models • Learners often have preconceived (and often inaccurate) conceptions of mental models. (Driscoll, 2005, p. 209) • Learners often build on prior knowledge that may be incorrect and inconsistent. (Jenson, 2005, p. 47)
Summary • Most educators come from middle class backgrounds with middle class values; therefore it may be difficult for them to understand that poverty may bring on a culture and value system much different than theirs. (Payne, 2001) • What is important to note is that poverty alone should not be used to track or label students. It should only serve to understand the diversity of their students in the same way one might understand English limited learners or other students in their classrooms. (Nieto & Bode, 2008) • Using the teaching strategies discussed here is beneficial for all students including those from backgrounds of poverty.
Remember: • “People develop feelings that they are liked, wanted, acceptable, and able from having been liked, wanted, accepted, and from having been successful.”(Combs, 1982)
National Center for Children of Poverty • http://www.nccp.org/ This site includes many statistics about children in poverty. It also includes research information, projects, state profiles and publications. Very useful information for policy makers, educators and parents.
Article about Ruby Payne, Framework for Poverty • New York Times http://www.parsintl.com/14328.pdf This article provides basic information about the research and writings of Ruby Payne. It provides an overview of the concepts provided in her writings and workshops as well as examples educators can relate to.
Make Poverty History • http://www.makepovertyhistory.org/schools/index.shtml This website takes a global look at poverty with lesson plans for teachers to use with students. It also provides links to other resources such as Save the Children and WaterAid. While based in the United Kingdom, the global look at information makes the website useful to all educators.
Poverty USA • http://www.nccbuscc.org/cchd/povertyusa/edcenter/index.shtml At this website you will find a great presentation about poverty. Go to the URL above, find site resources, and click on take a tour of Poverty USA. Units are available for different grade levels. While Catholic based, the information is great for educators in the public school setting.
Education-a Way out of Poverty • www.sida.se/shared/jsp/download.jsp?f=Edd12.pdf&a=2792 The information at this site is a PDF file of research presentations at the Poverty Conference, 2001. Sida, Swedish Internatinal Development Cooperation Agency, invited international researchers to present and then compiled the information in a document to help create an awareness of the effects of poverty and the social and education implications.
Works by Marzano • Marzano, R. J. (2004). Building background knowledge for academic achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development • Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J. & Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. • Marzano, R. J. & Pickering, D. J. (1997). Dimensions of learning. (2nd ed.). Alexandria,VA, Association for Supervision and Curriculum. These publications give educators background information about learning theories and how that relates to the classroom. Dimensions of Learning outlines five types of thinking: Attitudes and Perceptions, How We Acquire and Integrate Knowledge, How We Extend and Refine Knowledge, How to Use Knowledge Meaningfully and How We Form Habits of the Mind. Each section of the book has classroom example to help lead educators to understand practical applications. Building Background Knowledge gives the educator a perspective about the value of vocabulary in school achievement. Six steps are given to help with effective vocabulary instruction. Classroom Instruction That Works examines research that looks at teaching strategies that most impact student learning. Note taking, group work and using graphic organizers plus other strategies are discussed and researched. The material is organized so that educators see the relationship between the research and how that relates to the classroom.
Works by Payne • Payne, R. K. (2001). A framework for understanding poverty. Highlands, TX: aha Process, Inc. • Payne, R.K. (2002). Understanding learning, the how, the why, the what. Highlands, TX: aha! Process, Inc. Ruby Payne’s work focuses on the differences of values in the economic classes of people. While specifically designed to inform educators how to relate to students of low economic status, specific strategies are discussed on how educators can make learning significant to all students. A Framework for Understanding Poverty gives case studies of individuals and engages the reader to explore what resources does this individual have or lack that impacts their success. The importance of creating relationships is also discussed. Understanding Learning, the How, the Why, the What is a resource guide for teachers that takes the information presented in A Framework for Understanding Poverty and gives educators practical ready to use ideas. The first three chapters are a refresher course in the CPI model of learning theory. Payne then provides the teacher a handbook of easy to follow strategies to engage students.
Others • Combs, A. W. (1982). A personal approach to teaching: beliefs that make a difference. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. • Comer, J. (1995) Lecture given at Education Service Center, Region IV. Houston, TX. • Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction. Pearson Education, Inc. • Jenson, E. (2005) Teaching with the brain in mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum. • Jenson, E. (2007). www.jensonlearning.com. • National Centre for Children in Poverty. (2006) Basic facts about low-income children: birth to age 18. • Nieto, S. & Bode, P. (2008) Affirming diversity the sociopolitical context of multicultural education (5th ed.). Pearson Education, Inc. • UNICEF. (2007) Child poverty in perspective: an overview of child well-being in rich countries. Innocenti Report Card. No. 7. Florence, Italy.