Generational Poverty A Framework for Understanding Kelly S. Compton IU9 Summer Curriculum Institute
Goals • Empower educators with an understanding of the realities our students living in poverty • Collaborate with educators to identify effective instructional strategies for teaching students living in poverty • Help educators build resilient children in spite of the obstacles associated with living in poverty
Credit Dr. Ruby K. Payne A Framework for UnderstandingPoverty
Workshop Objectives 1. Define poverty 2. Examine the data and conditions of poverty 3. Identify strategies to raise achievement in the classroom 4. Examine the patterns of living in generational poverty
Guiding Points Poverty is relative. Beware of stereotypes! Ruby Payne’s theory is based on patterns. All patterns have exceptions.
Guiding Points Schools and businesses operate from middle-class norms and values. Individuals bring with them the hidden rules and traits of the class in which they are raised. Educators must not excuse students from poverty or scold them. Educators must teach all students.
Guiding Points It is not easy to break the cycle of poverty. Education and Relationships are essential tools for breaking out poverty.
Finally . . . What motivates a person to leave poverty? Too painful to stay Vision or goal Key relationship or sponsor Special talent or skill
Definition of Poverty • According to you, what is the definition of poverty?
Formal Definitions (Merriam – Webster) 1. The state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions 2. A lack of resources leading to the inability to acquire goods necessary for subsistence; lack of opportunities to increase those resources.
Generational vs. Situational Generational poverty and situational poverty are different.
Generational Poverty Two generations Unique culture, hidden rules, and belief systems Attitude (Society owes me!) Limited number of resources
Situational Poverty Lack of resources due to a particular event Attitude (Pride and refusal to accept charity) Additional Resources
1.6 % - Sweden 2.8 % - Germany 4.6 % - France 7.4 % - United Kingdom 9.3 % - Canada 20.4 % - U.S.A Global Poverty Rate
National Statistics Nearly 36.5 million people in the United States live in poverty 35% (12.8 million) of America’s poor are children
1 in 6 children in PA is born to a mother with less than a high school diploma 1 in 6 children in PA is at risk of entering school not ready to learn One in 3 children lives in a low-income family. 50% of the rural children in Pennsylvania live in low-income families. State of the Child in Pennsylvania
Who are the students of poverty? They are students who qualify for free and reduced meals.
How Do We Define Poverty in Education? • U.S. Census Bureau • - Free and Reduced Meals • - Title 1 Funding
Regional Figures(2007) Cameron County 42% Elk County 33% McKean County 39% Potter County 44%
County Statistics Percent of children under age 5 living in low-income families: Cameron 35% (1 in 3) Elk 36.1% (1 in 3) McKean 49.9% (1 in 2) Potter 54.0% (1 in 2)
County Statistics Births to mothers with less than a HS degree: Cameron 7 (14%) Elk 27 (8.4%) McKean 70 (13.8%) Potter 38 (18.2%)
Local Statistics Austin 47% Bradford 42% Cameron County 38% Coudersport 33% Galeton Area 53% Johnsonburg 38% Kane 35% • Northern Potter 45% • Oswayo Valley 38% • Otto-Eldred 44% • Port Allegany 38% • Ridgeway 35% • Saint Mary’s 28% • Smethport 33%
Discussion Question What else do we know about children living in generational poverty?
They are . . . Children who receive little or no pre-natal care Children who are born to teen mothers Children who experience lower birth weights Children who are born to mothers and fathers without a high school diploma Children who experience more lead poisoning and iron-deficiency anemia Children who do not have adequate nutrition Children who receive no routine preventive medical and dental care Children who are prone to asthma, resulting in more sleeplessness, irritability, and lack of exercise Children who are more likely to suffer from developmental delays
And . . . Children who live in single- parent households Children who are being raised by grandparents Children who visit a parent in jail Children who may be exposed to violence on a daily basis Children who suffer from their parents’ addictions • Children who live in substandard housing • Children who switch schools often • Children who are in foster care • Children who are not read to as often as high-income peers • Children who are exposed to high levels of family stress and random discipline
They are . . . Children who start school with poorer health, less stability, and fewer enriched experiences than high-income peers Children who have had fewer vacations, visits to museums and zoos, music and dance lessons, opportunities to participate in organized sports leagues to develop their ambition, cultural awareness, and self-confidence • Children who do not have access to books • Children who do not know how to “play” school • Children who are at risk of dropping out of high school • Children who will likely perpetuate the cycle of poverty unless they are educated and supported by caring adults
Children who . . . Make up an aggregated subgroup Factor into proficiency rates on standardized tests Stand in the way of AYP Have been left behind
Lastly, Children who can achieve! “Poverty alone is not the cause of low achievement in our schools. The highest predictor of academic achievement is the proficiency of teachers in effective instructional practice.” (Belinda Williams)
NCLB Strategies to Raise Achievement
Assess the Resources of Students Teach Students to Speak in Formal Register Forge Relationships with Parents Recognize and Teach Hidden Rules Build Relationships of Respect with Students and Resilience Translate the Concrete into the Abstract Teach Students How to Ask Questions Monitor Progress and Plan Interventions List of Strategies
Strategy 1 Assess the Resources of Students
The student is able to choose and control emotional responses without engaging in self-destructive behavior. The student is able to engage in self-talk and demonstrate the ability to focus on the issue. EMOTIONAL
The student has the mental abilities and acquired skills (reading, writing, and computing) to deal with daily life. MENTAL
The student believes in a higher power. The student knows that he or she has a divine purpose in life. SPIRITUAL
The student is in good physical health and can get around town. PHYSICAL
The student has friends, family members, and backup resources available to access in times of need. SUPPORT SYTEMS
The student has access to adults who are appropriate, nurturing, and do not engage in self-destructive behavior. RELATIONSHIPS / ROLE MODELS
The student knows the unspoken cues and habits of the school community. KNOWLEDGE OF HIDDEN RULES
Strategy 2 Teach Students to Speak in Formal Register
Registers of Language • Five Registers of Language → FROZEN → FORMAL → CONSULATIVE → CASUAL → INTIMATE
Formal – Register Discourse Pattern Speaker or writer gets straight to the the point.
Casual-Register Discourse Pattern Speaker or Writer goes around the issue before finally coming to the point.
Strategy 3 Forge Relationships with Parents
Fighter / Lover Caretaker / Rescuer Worker Storyteller Keeper of the Soul Understanding Family Roles
Dispelling the Myths of Poverty MYTH: Poor people are unmotivated and have weak work ethics FACT: 83% of children from low-income families have at least one parent working FACT: Many poor adults must work two, three, or four jobs.
Dispelling the Myths of Poverty MYTH: Poor parents are uninvolved in their children’s learning because they do not value education. FACT: Low-income parents are less likely to attend school functions because they work multiple jobs, work evenings, have jobs without paid leave, cannot afford child care, do not have access to public transportation, or have had negative personal school experiences FACT: Many low-income parents may not know how to support their child’s learning