A Framework for UnderstandingPoverty Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D. aha! Process, Inc., Highlands, TX www.ahaprocess.com
This research is about economic diversity, not racial or cultural diversity.
Learning Targets • I will establish a mental framework for understanding economic realities • I can understand key points of the framework of poverty • I can analyze hidden rules of different social classes • I can apply what I’ve learned about the framework of poverty to my future professional practices
Key Point 1. Poverty is relative.
Key Point: Generational Poverty v. Situational Poverty
Generational vs. Situational • Generational: two generations or more • Situational: resources are temporarily reduced • Middle Class = education beyond high school • One class movement in a lifetime • When you're moving you must be successful with • Part native rules/part new rules exposure • Generational poverty = no exposure • Shapes thinking • 40% live in their native class • Focus on “Generational”
Key Point 3. This is a cognitive approach to class and is based on patterns of thinking. All patterns have exceptions.
Key Point 4. Schools and businesses operate from middle-class norms and values.
Key Point 5. Individuals bring with them the hidden rules of the class in which they were raised.
Key Point 6. Hidden rules about time and money.
Key Point 7. We can neither excuse nor scold students. We must teach our students and their parents.
Key Point 8. We must teach our students that there are two sets of rules.
Key Point 9. To move from poverty to middle class, one must give up (for a period of time) relationships for achievement.
Key Point 10. Two things that help one move out of poverty are: • education • relationships
Key Point 11. Four reasons one leaves poverty are: • too painful to stay • vision or goal • key relationship • special talent/skill
Key Point 12. What is the motivation for learning?
Key Point 13. Mutual respect is: • High expectations • Insistence • Support
According to the U.S. Census Bureau seven states showed increases in their poverty rates based on two-year averages Illinois Michigan Nevada North Carolina SOUTH DAKOTA Texas Florida Why should we care?
2009-2010 poverty threshold was measured according to the HHS Poverty Guidelines • For each additional person, add$3,740 $4,680 $4,300
Children in Poverty in U.S. • Greatest number and greatest percentage of people in poverty are children – 18.0% • African American 3,904,00, 34.5% • Native American 194,272, 31.9% • Hispanic 4,482,000, 28.6% • Caucasian 8,395,000, 14.9% • Asian 374,000, 12.5% • About 1 in 5 U.S. children live in poverty • Growing fastest in rural areas and first-ring suburbs Based on U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, 2009
Some Americans Are Much Less Likely to Graduate From College Note: SES is a weighted variable developed by NCES, which includes parental education levels and occupations and family income. “High” and “low” refer to the highest and lowest quartiles of SES. Source: Postsecondary Education Opportunity, Number 156, June 2005, “Family Income and Higher Education Opportunity 1970 to 2003”
Lots of Great Information • Hidden rules exist • Resources must be examined and acted upon • We need to be aware of Language Registers • The structure of Family is critical to understanding and working with students/parents from poverty • There are effective Strategies and Interventions we can use to help us be more effective when working with kids from poverty and ALL kids in our classroom
Could you survive in poverty? COMPLETE THE QUIZ: Put a check by each item you know how to do. ______1. I know which churches and sections of town have the best rummage sales. ______2. I know which rummage sales have “bag sales” and when. ______3. I know which grocery stores’ garbage bins can be accessed for thrown-away food. ______4. I know how to get someone out of jail. ______5. I know how to physically fight and defend myself physically. ______6. I know how to get a gun, even if I have a police record. ______7. I know how to keep my clothes from being stolen at the Laundromat. ______8. I know what problems to look for in a used car. ______9. I know how to live without a checking account. ______10. I know how to live without electricity and a phone. ______11. I know how to use a knife as scissors. ______12. I can entertain a group of friends with my personality and my stories. ______13. I know what to do when I don’t have money to pay the bills. ______14. I know how to move in half a day. ______15. I know how to get and use food stamps or an electronic card for benefits. ______16. I know where the free medical clinics are. ______17. I am very good at trading and bartering. ______18. I can get by without a car.
Could you survive in wealth? COMPLETE THE QUIZ: Put a check by each item you know how to do. ______1. I can read a menu in French, English, and another language. ______2. I have several favorite restaurants in different countries of the world. ______3. During the holidays, I know how to hire a decorator to identify the appropriate themes and items with which to decorate the house. ______4. I know who my preferred financial advisor, legal service, designer, domestic- employment service, and hairdresser are. ______5. I have at least two residences that are staffed and maintained. ______6. I know how to ensure confidentiality and loyalty from my domestic staff. ______7. I have at least two or three “screens” that keep people whom I do not wish to see away from me. ______8. I fly in my own plane or the company plane. ______9. I know how to enroll my children in the preferred private schools. ______10. I know how to host the parties that “key” people attend. ______11. I am on the boards of at least two charities. ______12. I know the hidden rules of the Junior League. ______13. I support or buy the work of a particular artist. ______14. I know how to read a corporate financial statement and analyze my own financial statements.
Could you survive in middle class? COMPLETE THE QUIZ: Put a check by each item you know how to do. ______1. I know how to get my children into Little League, piano lessons, soccer, etc. ______2. I know how to set a table properly. ______3. I know which stores are most likely to carry the clothing brands my family wears. ______4. My children know the best name brands in clothing. ______5. I know how to order in a nice restaurant. ______6. I know how to use a credit card, checking account, and savings account—and I understand an annuity. I understand term life insurance, disability insurance, and 20/80 medical insurance policy, as well as house insurance, flood insurance, and replacement insurance. ______7. I talk to my children about going to college. ______8. I know how to get one of the best interest rates on my new-car loan. ______9. I understand the difference among the principal, interest, and escrow statements on my house payment. ______10. I know how to help my children with their homework and do not hesitate to call the school if I need additional information. ______11. I know how to decorate the house for the different holidays. ______12. I know how to get a library card. ______13. I know how to use most of the tools in the garage. ______14. I repair items in my house almost immediately when they break—or know a repair service and call it.
Time • POVERTY • Present most important • Decisions made for the moment • based on feelings or survival • MIDDLE CLASS • Future most important • Decisions made against future ramifications • WEALTH • Traditions and past history most important • Decisions made partially on basis of tradition/decorum
Destiny • POVERTY • Belief in fate • Cannot do much to mitigate chance • MIDDLE CLASS • Believes in choice • Can change future with good choices now • WEALTH • Noblesse oblige
believes that one is fated or destined the behavior not get caught deny punished forgiven
Possessions POVERTY People MIDDLE CLASS Things WEALTH One-of-a-kind objects, legacies, pedigrees
Hidden Rules of Food • Poverty • Is there enough? • Middle Class • Does it taste good? • Wealth • How is food presented?
Hidden Rules in Poverty • Noise level is higher • Important information is given non-verbally • Entertainment and humor are valued • Personal strength is respected • A wider range of behaviors is acceptable
Hidden Rules in Wealth • It is NOT okay not to be perfect • Details are crucial • Expertise is respected • Privileged – Rules don’t apply to my child • Emphasis on social inclusion – the “weapon of choice” is social exclusion
Definition of Poverty • The extent to which an individual does without resources • Poverty is more about lack of resources than it is about money
Resources • Financial • Emotional • Mental • Spiritual • Physical • Support Systems • Relationships / Role Models • Knowledge of Hidden Rules
A student must have sufficient resources to negotiate his/her reality. • Different realities (situations) require the use of different resources. • So, the more resources a student has, the more situations he/she can handle. • 90% of discipline problems come from 10% of kids – these kids usually have only 2 or 3 resources. • Having three resources or less is poverty
Five Registers • Frozen – always the same, Lord’s prayer • Formal – write papers, business reports • Consultative – a presenter uses this, in and out of formal, casual consultative • Casual – fun language, gossip • Intimate – between two intimate people
Casual vs. Formal Register • “This sucks.” • There is no joy in this activity
To survive in poverty, one must rely upon non-verbal, sensory, and reactive skills. To survive in school, one must use verbal, abstract, and proactive skills.
Two Sets of Rules • Rules at home • SURVIVAL, SAVE FACE • Rules in school • MIDDLE CLASS RULES
Family structure affects attitudes about: • Cooperation • Competition • Authority • Identity • Deception
Patterns in Generational Poverty • “Society owes me a living” • A job is about making enough money to survive • Common-law marriages • Often single-parent homes • Mother is center of organization • Many multiple relationships • Multiple internal feuds • Changing allegiances, favoritism
Students or parents often… • Get mad and quit their job or work • Work hard if they like you • Say exactly what is on their mind, especially when angry • Extreme freedom of speech; enjoy humor • Are frequently late due to family emergencies • Need emotional warmth