Childhood Poverty Compromises the Educational Prospects of Children and Adolescents Social class differences in educational achievement must be evaluated In the united states. Given the Importance of schooling for the life chances of disadvantaged children, understanding the invisible sub-culture of poverty in which they live, is an important step to helping them become self-sufficient in life. In school, children and adolescents living in poverty are more likely to repeat a grade, e expelled or suspended and achieve low test scores.
According to Children’s. Org. Child poverty merits attention because a substantial body of research links poverty with lower levels of child well-being. For a variety of reasons, when compared with children from more affluent families, poor children are more likely to have low academic achievement, to drop out of school, and to have health, behavioral, and emotional problems. (1) Michelle Rhea states in “How Can the Poor be Helped? ‘ “By building on models of success, society can dramatically improve public education and turn the tide of generational poverty.
Allocating resources and following proven methods of success will require long term vision and commitment on the part of educators. ” Education must become a priority to give children the tools they need to overcome poverty. (3) A good education is often the only means of breaking the cycle of poverty for poor children. Census. Gob chronicles poverty in “The 2011 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CASE) report,” reflecting the 2010 calendar year. The official poverty rate In 2010 was 15. 1 percent -” Newman-Faulkner 2 up from 14. 3 percent in 2009.
This was the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate. Between 2009 and 2010, the poverty rate increased for children under age eighteen, from 20. 7 percent to 22. 0 percent. “Bridges out of Poverty,” written by Ruby Payne. Describes poverty as relative. If everyone around you has similar circumstances, the notion of poverty and wealth is vague. Poverty or wealth exists only in relationship to known quantities or expectations. (6) Many children living in poverty cannot comprehend a “world” outside of the one in which they live..
This view Is shared by Tex Norman, Worrywarts. Com, In his article “The unwritten Rules of Generational Poverty”. He states “It doesn’t occur to the poor that they have any control over their life. If your family and everyone you know has been stuck in substandard housing, and low wage dead end drudgery Jobs then you grow up knowing that you are going to live In a dump and work your butt off for not enough money and that Is Just the way It Is. ” Conditions required for children to be successful are often lacking in the environment of poverty.
Misty Lacuna and Laura Tossing write in “The Effects of Poverty on Academic Achievement,” poverty forms a specific culture and way of life. Poverty directly affects academic achievement because of the lack of resources available for student success. These resources are listed as financial, emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical resources as well as sub-culture of poverty creates behaviors that are not acceptable in school and transitioning to new behaviors is difficult. Poverty does not have to mean low achievement and even lower expectations.
It is by learning about the culture, values and beliefs that those living in poverty hold that will give insight to educators on how to teach to this disadvantaged group. (1) Newman-Faulkner 3 A theory for the cycle of poverty, asserted by Ruby Payne in “A Framework for Poverty,” is that poor people have their own culture with a different set of values and beliefs which keeps them trapped, resulting in generational poverty. There is a class system in the United States where there is a wealthy upper class, a middle class, and the working poor class.
According to Ruby Payne, “the hidden rules of the middle class govern schools and work; students from poverty come with a completely different set of hidden rules. ” Understanding the hidden rules is crucial to whatever class in which an individual lives. 9) All classes, wealthy, middle and lower, have hidden rules that exist. These rules are the unspoken understandings between members of each class. These rules dictate membership of each class. With schools operating under the “hidden rules” of the middle class, students from generational poverty enter with a completely different set of hidden rules and do not know middleman’s rules.
Considering a growing number of children in the United States are living in poverty, it is imperative to transition them from lower class values and beliefs to the middle class social culture in schools. Interviewing Bunny Miller, principal of Whitewater Prescott Middle School, she discussed the middle class standards in which schools operate. “Requiring students to function at any less of a standard would be a disservice to them. The Job of a school is not Just to teach reading, writing and arithmetic: the school must also prepare a student socially to make it in life. We can neither excuse them nor scold them for not knowing; we must teach them and provide support, insistence, and expectations. (Payne) The hidden rules that are followed by children in poverty create barriers when entering he school atmosphere and are extremely challenging to overcome. Dispelling the stereotype that students from poverty are not intelligent and that students engage in behaviors that make no sense is an important factor in providing students living in poverty a positive educational experience. Ms. Pane’s argument is Newman- Faulkner 4 “To survive in poverty, you must be very non-verbal, reactive, and sensory-based.
To survive in school and work, you must be very verbal, very abstract, and very proactive and you must plan. ” To move from the lower class to middle class requires a enter to model and teach the student, as well as the parents. According to Bunny Miller, “Schools with high poverty rates among the student body must also educate the parents as well, especially if the poverty is generational and not situational. In generational poverty there is a lack of importance placed on education. People living in generational poverty have their own sub-culture with rules and behavior that they follow.
There is a sense of entitlement carried from generation to generation. Education is not valued by parents, therefore, there is a “disconnect” when the dents arrive to my school for fifth through eighth grade. I instruct my teachers to also work with the parents on acceptable social behaviors in order to help the expectations while attending school. ” The first step in guiding a child in poverty through the transition to operate with middle class rules, as written by Ruby Payne in her book, “From Understanding Poverty to Developing Human Capacity’ is to build relationships of mutual respect with students. 109) Once educators tap into the lives of their students and build a relationship, they can remove resistance from parents ND the children themselves, regarding the importance of education. Many parents from lower-socioeconomic groups are often reluctant to approach a school system where they may have endured negative experiences as students themselves or have experienced the climate of schools as less than welcoming. Moreover, research reveals that schools can encourage or Newman-Faulkner 5 discourage the amount and type of participation that low-income parents display.
For example, in contrast to affluent parents, low-income parents report that the communication they have with schools is typically negative and problem-focused. These parents describe themselves as being talked down to and blamed when they interact with school staff. In addition, many parents report that they are often dissatisfied with school personnel who are “too business-like” or “patronizing. ” As a result, these parents often avoid contact with school staff or view them as adversaries. (112+). According to Ellen S. Matte and Circle A.
West-Latino, authors of “Joining the conversation about educating our poorest children: emerging leadership roles for school counselors in high-poverty schools,” “Many educators eave been socialized to view poor people as morally and culturally deficient. Believing that families who are poor have attitudes, values, and behaviors that sustain their position at the bottom of the economic ladder, these educators often blame parents for passing on these traits to their children instead of transmitting the middle-class cultural patterns they believe are necessary to succeed in school and in life. (81) Educators must remove all stereotypical views that have been instilled in them through their own life experiences, in order to build relationships,with both arena and student in order to help families break the cycle of poverty and succeed in life. The societies of poverty are predominantly matriarchal, with the primary caregiver exerting the greatest influence on the child. The development of a close, trusting relationship with the student and with the primary caregiver is an important key to the success of the student from poverty.
Eric Jensen, author of “Teaching with Poverty in Mind,” explores the importance of relationships for child living in poverty. “Strong, secure relationships help stabilize children’s behavior and roved the core guidance needed to build lifelong social skills. Children who grow up with such relationships learn healthy, appropriate emotional responses to everyday situations. But children raised in poor households often fail to learn these responses, to the Newman-Faulkner 6 detriment of their school performance”.
For example, social dysfunction may inhibit students’ ability to work well in cooperative groups, quite possibly leading to their exclusion by group members who believe they aren’t “doing their part” or “pulling their share of the load. ” This exclusion and the accompanying decrease in elaboration and exchange of information exacerbate at-risk students’ already shaky academic performance and behavior. (24) Some teachers may interpret students’ and helpful to understand that the students come to school with a narrower range of appropriate emotional responses than we expect.
Many children simply don’t have the repertoire of necessary responses. Socioeconomic status forms a huge part of this equation. Children raised in poverty rarely choose to behave differently, but they are faced daily with overwhelming challenges that affluent children never have to inferno. (25) Mary Chattanooga writes in “Urban Students in High-poverty Schools: Information and Support Strategies for Educators,” that educators should actively teach children pro-social behaviors that may not have been taught at home and that may help them build the social networks that are critical to school success. 32) Many times, disadvantaged children have to take on the adult role in the home. Children are often left home to fend for themselves and their younger siblings while their caregivers work long hours or are out socializing for the night; they spend less mime playing outdoors and more time watching television and are less likely to participate in after-school activities (U. S. Census Bureau, 2000). Unfortunately, children won’t get the model for how to develop proper emotions Newman-Faulkner 7 or respond appropriately to others from watching cartoons; they need warm, person- to-person interactions.
Low-income parents are often overwhelmed by diminished self-esteem, depression, and a sense of powerlessness and inability to cope-”feelings that may get passed along to their children in the form of insufficient nurturing, activity, and a general failure to focus on children’s needs. Nonsense) A common obstacle in relationship building and the teaching process is the role of language. Every language in the world has five registers. (Payne) These registers are the following: ; Frozen – Language that is always the same. For example: The Lord’s Prayer ; Formal – Word choice of work and school.
Has complete sentences and specific word choice ; Consultative – Formal register when used in conversation ; Casual – Characterized by a four-hundred to eight-hundred word vocabulary. Word choice is general and not specific. Intimate – Language between lovers Ruby Payne, she states: “The barrier created by language in the life of a child living in poverty is that most children do not have access to formal register in the home. ” (27+) Without this instruction they are unable to use formal register which is required in school.
Children living in poverty speak in casual language while teachers use formal language, and their ways of knowing are not compatible with the schooling environment. In light of this formal vs… Casual register, educators must understand when a student following the hidden rules of poverty says “this assignment sucks” they are, in all actuality, saying the same thing as a student operating from middle class rules when they say “this assignment is not conducive to my likes. ” Because the structure and specificity of Newman-Faulkner 8 language is not available to those students who only know casual register, their achievement lags. Payne) The New York Times reports, study after study has tied vocabulary size to higher socioeconomic status, greater educational achievement and a host of other goods. The Educational Testing Service issued a report in 2009, “Parsing the Achievement Gap II,” which explained some of the benefits of an extensive vocabulary. Among the more notable benefits it cited was that children who remarkably larger than those who are raised in poorer ones. By the age of three, children who are raised in a professional household know twice as many words as do children raised on welfare. New York Times) It is important to affirm a child living in poverty’s life while directing them to proper social interaction using language if they are to succeed. A child’s language practice carries implications for their academic success. Increasing a disadvantaged child’s vocabulary will benefit their educational outcome. “A Framework for Understanding Poverty’ reveals that State tests, the SAT, ACT and others, are written in formal register. The use of formal register allows one to score well on tests and do well in school. (28)The ability to use formal language is a hidden rule of the middle class.
Another hidden rule of generational poverty is verbal vs… Non-verbal communication. One rule is that non-verbal communication is much more important than verbal communication. A second rule is that physical fighting is often necessary for survival. Physical fighting is how conflict is resolved. If o only know casual register, you do not have the words to negotiate a resolution. Respect is accorded to those who can physically defend themselves. Due to non- verbal communication the hidden rules in the sub-culture of poverty require one to always “save face. Within the middle class rules fighting is done verbally. Physical fighting is viewed with distaste. (Payne) Newman-Faulkner 9 “A Framework for Understanding Poverty’ charts the driving forces between the social classes. These forces differ greatly. Generally, in middle class, work and achievement tend to be the driving forces in decision-making. In wealth, the driving forces are the political, social, and financial connections. In generational poverty, the driving forces are survival, entertainment, and relationships. 42-43) A direct- teach approach in the classroom is advocated in “From Understanding Poverty to Building Human Capacity,” authored by Ruby Payne. The classroom is a manifestation of the larger societal issues and must be addressed differently. The direct-teach approach means that you are very specific in the steps and procedures needed to do something. Use mental models. Mental models help translate between the sensory ND the abstract worlds. (Payne) Also recommended is to “teach that there are two sets of rules one for school and work, one for outside of school and work. Mammal Decreases writes in “The Effects of Poverty on School Education that the solution lies in “placing all of our youth in the best position to be successful. ” (1) Additionally, Martinet Hibernia explains in “The Pedagogy of Poverty Versus Good Teaching, education will be seriously reformed only after we move it from a matter of “importance” to a matter of “life and death,” both for society and for the individuals themselves. 11) Only when society realizes the long term costs involved in not helping children escape the grip of poverty will there be true change.