Changes in American Society ED 1010
Self Assessment 1. In the U.S. the least likely family pattern is a) a single-parent family. b) a blended family with children from previous marriages. c) children living with grandparents or other relatives. d) a two-parent family with two children and the mother staying at home. 2. Which of the following is NOT true of U.S. families? a) Families headed by married couples make up over half of all households. b) The majority of women with children are in the workforce. c) The poverty rate for families headed by single parents is roughly comparable to that of the general population. d) The divorce rate has increased from 1978 to 2000.
Changes in American Families • Traditional family—husband as primary breadwinner, stay-at-home mother, and 2 children—makes up only 6% of U.S. families. • 68% of families composed of married couples. • 70% of women with children work. • 32% of children live with single parent or some other caregiver. • Poverty rate for single-parent families 7–8 times higher than for families of married couples.
Families • Childcare: before and after school • Latchkey: problems with lack of supervision • How does this impact the teacher?
Self Assessment 3. Which of the following is NOT included as a factor in socioeconomic status (SES)? a) Occupation b) Marital status c) Income d) Education level 4. Which of the following is NOT true of poverty in the U.S.? a) Poverty in the U.S. is comparable to poverty rates in other industrialized countries. b) Poverty is more common among minorities. c) Poverty is more common among families headed by single mothers. d) Poverty is more common among children.
Influence of Socioeconomic Status on Education Ruby Payne survey • Fulfillment of basic needs • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs • Family stability • School-related experiences • Students learn as much during the school year. Middle class students gained ground over the summer while low-income students lost ground. (Alexander, Entwisle, & Olson, 2001) • Interaction patterns in the home • Parental attitudes and values Socioeconomic Status (SES): The combination of family income, parents’ occupations, and the level of parental education
How does this impact teaching? • Upper class • $170,000 + • Educated, professional occupations • Middle class • $40,000-170,000 • Educated, white collar, skilled blue collar • Working class • $25,000-40,000 • Blue collar, high school education, maybe some college • Lower class • Below $25,000 • Unskilled labor
Impact of SES • Middle and upper class parents tend to include their children in adult conversations and ask their child’s opinions. (Rothstein, 2006) • Middle and upper class homes usually have many books and periodicals. (Rothstein, 2006) • Ratio of verbal encouragement: scolding • Toddlers of professionals 6:1 • Toddlers of working class 2:1 • Toddlers of poverty 1:2 (Hart & Risley, 2003)
Impact of SES • Verbal interactions – words by age 3 • Professional parents – 30 million • Working class – 20 million • Poverty – 10 million (Hart & Risley, 2003) • This difference resulted in children of professionals having vocabularies 50% larger than working class children and twice as large as children of poverty. • Attitudes about education and schools • Homework and extracurricular support
Impact of SES • Children of poverty • Lower birth weight • Poorer vision, oral hygeine, nutrition, medical care • More lead poisoning, asthma • More mobility – move schools • Higher absenteeism Each student needs a school that is safe, nurturing, and demanding with teachers providing high expectations and effective instruction.
Homelessness • What does it mean to be homeless? • What are the unique needs of the homeless?
Bullying • More common than many adults realize • 74% of 8- to 11-year-olds and • 86% of 12- to 15-year-olds reported bullying in their schools. • Often occurs in places in schools outside the classroom • Often ignored by teachers • Requires a school-wide effort by all teachers
Changes in Students • Bullying and Peer Relationships • Sneetches • Video
Table Discussion 1. How do social cruelty and bullying affect the students involved? 2. Where are social cruelty and bullying most likely to be found in schools? 3. What can teachers do about the problems of social cruelty and bullying?
Self Assessment 5. Which of the following is NOT true of teenagers’ sexual behaviors? a) Almost half of teens reported being sexually active by the end of high school. b) The majority of sexually active teenagers use condoms. c) The U.S. has the highest teenage birthrate among developing countries. d) The teenage birthrate has declined recently. 6. Which of the following is NOT true about school violence and crime? a) Student concerns about school safety are highest at the middle school level. b) The most common form of school crime is theft. c) Violence is most common in schools located in urban areas. d) Students are safer in their neighborhoods than in school.
Self Assessment 7. Which of the following is NOT true of zero-tolerance programs in schools? a) They tend to be implemented differentially in different schools in the same district. b) They tend to affect minorities to a disproportionate degree. c) They often result in expulsion from school. d) They are effective in differentiating between major and minor offenses. 8. Which of the following is NOT true of teenage suicide? a) Boys are more likely than girls to attempt suicide. b) The teenage suicide rate has quadrupled in the last 50 years. c) Boys are more likely than girls to succeed at suicide. d) A relatively small percentage of teenagers attempt suicide.
Student Sexuality • U.S. teenage pregnancy rate highest among Western industrialized countries • Almost half of teenagers report being sexually active, some before age 13 • Controversies in sex education center on abstinence-only versus more comprehensive approaches.
Experts estimate between 3 and 10% of US students are homosexual • Student struggling with same-sex feelings tend to be depressed and have higher rates of drug use and suicide. • Sexual harassment: unwanted and/or unwelcome sexual behavior that interferes with a student’s sense of well-being • 4 out of 5 students reported sexual harassment in schools • Students feel powerless, worthless
Alcohol and Drugs • Over half of all students tried an illicit drug by the time they finished high school. • 75% of high school seniors reported alcohol use, 47% in the last 30 days. • 45% of seniors experimented with marijuana or hashish. • 50% of seniors, 39% of 10th-graders, and 26% of eighth-graders reported smoking cigarettes.
Obesity • Becoming a national epidemic that starts during school years • Exacerbated by multiple factors: • Sedentary lifestyle focused on TV and computers • Diet • Lack of exercise • School soft-drink policies
Crime and Violence • While a serious problem, incidence of crime and violence has decreased in recent years • Students safer in schools than in their neighborhoods • Crime and violence related to poverty in neighborhoods • Student concerns highest at middle school level
Schoolwide Safety Programs Intensive Interventions 5% Targeted Supports 15% Schoolwide Supports 70%
School Uniforms • 14% of public schools current have a school uniform policy. (NCES) • A school-wide effort to combat crime and violence • Popular in many districts and supported by courts • Critics claim • Violates students’ individual rights • Unsubstantiated effectiveness
School Uniforms (continued) • Advocates counter with these claims • Improved discipline and classroom behavior • Increased school attendance and respect for teachers • Better school performance • Lower clothing costs and social stratification • Decreased crime and violence
Zero-Tolerance Policies • Students automatically suspended for offenses involving weapons, threats, or drugs • Mandated by Congress and enforced by 75% of all schools • Supported by teachers (70%) and parents (68%)
Zero-Tolerance Policies (continued) • Advocates claim they work, making schools safer. • Critics question their effectiveness and find flaws in implementation, especially for minority students. Zero Tolerance Video
Table Discussion 1. What are the major goals of zero-tolerance policies? 2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of zero-tolerance policies? 3. What could schools do to minimize the negative effects of zero-tolerance policies?
Suicide • Third leading cause of teen death (after accidents and homicide) • 500,000 youths each year attempt suicide, and 5,000 succeed • Related to • Family conflicts • Drug use • Peer harassment • Failed peer relationships • Teachers often in the best position to notice danger signs
Potential Suicide Indicators • An abrupt decline in the quality of schoolwork • Withdrawal from friends or classroom and school activities • Neglect of personal appearance or radical changes in personality • Changes in eating or sleeping habits • Depression, as evidenced by persistent boredom or lack of interest in school activities • Student comments about suicide as a solution to problems
Scenario You’re a middle school teacher in a rural district, and you meet with your homeroom students every day. You use homeroom to take care of daily routines and get to know your students as individuals. Janine has always been a bright, happy student who gets along well with her classmates. Lately she seems withdrawn, and her personal appearance is disheveled. As you periodically look at her, you see that she seems hesitant to make eye contact. You ask her to come in after school to talk. She says she has to go right home to help care for her younger brothers and sisters, so you suggest her lunch break instead. She reluctantly agrees. When she comes in she appears nervous, fidgeting with her hands and refusing to look at you. You ask her how she feels, and she replies, “Fine.” You mention that she seems to be different lately, preoccupied. She only shrugs. You ask if there is anything bothering her, and she shakes her head no. You reaffirm your availability if she ever wants to talk, and she smiles briefly. As she gathers her book to get up and leave, her sweater slides off her shoulder, revealing bruises.
“Janine, what happened to your arm?” “Oh, I fell the other day.” “But, how did you hurt the inside of your arm?” Janine’s pained and embarrassed expression suggests that a fall wasn’t the cause. “Did someone try to hurt you, Janine? You can tell me.” “Only if you promise not to tell,” she blurts out. Without thinking, you agree. She then proceeds to tearfully tell you about an angry father who has been out of work for months and who becomes violent when he drinks. As she leaves she makes you promise that you won’t tell anyone. What would you do in this situation?
Child Abuse • Teachers required by law to report • Teachers protected by law if they report • Possible signs include • Neglected appearance • Sudden changes in either academic or social behavior • Disruptive or overly compliant behavior • Repeated injuries such as bruises, welts, or burns
Self Assessment 9. Which of the following school approaches to children placed at-risk has been found to be most effective? a) Zero-tolerance programs that address school crime and violence b) Drug and alcohol programs that stress mental as well as physical health c) Active involvement of community resources in redesigning schools d) Security efforts that make schools safe havens for children 10. Which of the following most accurately describes the difference between less- and more-effective teachers for students placed at-risk? a) More effective teachers have better classroom management strategies. b) Less effective teachers use more indirect methods of instruction. c) Less effective teachers place too much emphasis on motivation. d) More effective teachers are more interactive in their teaching.
Urban Schools and Students Placed At-Risk • Urban schools tend to be larger and more impersonal. • Urban students often commute from geographically diverse neighborhoods, making access to friendships and extracurricular activities more difficult. • Teachers are crucial for student success because they are often the major human link between schools and students.
Dropout Problem • Can have a significant effect on subsequent earnings • High school graduates earn 34% more than dropouts • High school dropouts earn $260,000 less over a lifetime • Closes the door to college • Influenced by student ethnicity and SES • Individual teachers can influence through caring and effective classroom practices.
Full-Service Schools • Serve as a family resource center for a range of social and health services • James Comer’s School Development Program • Provides a comprehensive web of outreach services to students and their families • Produced increased achievement, improved self-concepts, and decreases in absences, suspensions, and management problems • Requires redefined teacher roles
Effective Practices for Students Placed At-Risk • Schools are safe and orderly with an emphasis on community and student responsibility. • Teachers are personal and caring, emphasize student responsibility, and have high expectations for students. • Effective instruction is interactive with increased structure, support, and feedback.