Generational Poverty: Implications and Effective Strategies for School Administrators Kelly S. Compton Bradford Area School District
Workshop Objectives • Examine the characteristics of students and families living in generational poverty • Address the challenges of teaching students of poverty • Identify instructional strategies for “empowering” students of poverty
Crime Alcohol and Substance Abuse Unemployment Rent-to-Own / Cash Advance Poor housing Violence Child abuse and / or neglect Depression Lack of Transportation Social Services Community Associations
Delay in Language and Reading Development Lack Problem Solving Skills Aggression / Violence Social Withdrawal or Attention Seeking Substance Abuse Issues Apathy and / or Laziness Lack of Responsibility Irregular Attendance Depression and Mental Illness Lack of Parental Involvement Lack of Preparation (no assignments, no studying, no supplies) ADHD Impede the learning of other children School Associations
Children who receive little or no pre-natal care Children who are born to teen mothers Children who are more likely to suffer developmental delays Children who live in a single-parent household Children who are being raised by grandparents Children who visit a parent in jail Children who are exposed to violence Children who are involved in the foster care system Children who suffer from their parents’ addictions Children who do not have adequate nutrition Children who live in substandard housing Who are the students of poverty?
Children who born to mothers and fathers without a high school diploma Children who are at-risk of dropping out of high school Children who enter school not ready to learn. Children who do not know the hidden rules of success in a classroom. They are . . .
Children who . . . • Make up an aggregated group • Factor into proficiency rates on standardized tests • Stand in the way of AYP • In the past have been left behind
In the past . . . • Our schools were designed to leave a lot of children behind. • Our previous mission was to rank students according to their achievement levels. • Our outcomes were winners and losers.
Successful Students(On Winning Streaks) • Confident • Optimistic – Expect positive results • Desire success • Self-Analysis in failure • High level of effort • Risk takers
Failing Students (On Losing Streaks) • Frustrated and Angry • Pessimistic • Hopelessness • Self-Criticism in failure • Waning effort (denial or cover up) • Fear of Risk Taking • Defensiveness
Provide an Opportunity • Previously, if a student gave up in hopelessness and stopped trying, it was the student’s problem – not the teacher’s or the school’s problem.
Something changed: Society realized that merely sorting students no longer met our education needs. Losing streaks and giving up were no longer options, at least with respect to standards.
Society said . . . • LEAVE NO CHILD BEHIND! • MAKE SURE LEARNING OCCURS! • PROMOTE THE SUCCESS OF ALL STUDENTS!
Core Beliefs • Maintain high and rigorous standards of learning for all students • Hold schools, teachers, students accountable for the information and skills to be learned
Challenges • High Mobility • Student Motivation • School Readiness • Parental Involvement
High-Mobility • Housing Problems • Searching for work • Running from problems • Abusive relationships • Criminal records • Financial responsibility • Child Protective Services • Doubling Up
Implications of High Mobility • Test Scores • Consistency of Instruction • Reduce sense of belonging • Reduce academic attachment
Student Motivation • Driving Forces • SURIVIVAL • RELATIONSHIPS • ENJOYMENT / ENTERTAINENT • Emotional Trauma • Nutrition • Value of Education
Implications of Student Motivation • Classrooms should be high in challenge and low in threat. • Intensive teaching and learning is best done in groups of six or fewer children. • Thirty minutes of intensive, close-up teaching is as valuable as several hours of whole group instruction. • Eye contact with the teacher keeps the brain focused on the task at hand. • Cooperative and shared decision making promotes a community of learners. • Feed your learners!
Call on everyone in the room Provide individual help Give “wait” time Ask guiding questions as clues to the right answer Ask questions that require more thought Tell students whether their answers are right or wrong Give specific praise Give reasons for praise Accept the feelings of students Listen Get within an arm’s reach each day Be courteous She personal interest and give compliments Appropriately touch student Building Relationships
School Readiness • Children from poverty start out in life at a disadvantage. • Little or no pre-natal care • Poor Quality Day Care • Lack Experience • Being read to • Playing on home computers • Visiting zoos and museums • Interacting with caring adults • Positive Social Interactions
Implications of School Readiness • Early Intervention • Early Childhood Education Programs • Positive Relationships with Adults • Support Systems • Open Doors
Parental Involvement • Barriers to Parental Involvement • Time • Child Care • Transportation • Negative Personal Experiences with School
Types of Parents 1. Career-Oriented 2. Very Involved in School Activities 3. Single Parent Working Two Jobs 4. Immigrant Parents with Language Issues 5. Parents with Overwhelming Personal Issues 6. Surrogate Parents 7. Children who are their own Parent
Implications of Parental Involvement • Phone Systems – Let the parents talk! • Welcoming Greeting • Use humor (not sarcasm): Can you poke fun at yourself? • Deliver bad news through a story • Offer a cup of coffee • Use an adult voice • Be personally strong • Use videos to convey important information • Don’t accept behaviors from adults that you don’t accept from students.
Disorganized Many excuses Physically Aggressive Does not complete assignments and other tasks Likes to entertain classmates Cannot monitor behavior Laughs when discipline / or shrugs it off Does not know or use middle class courtesies Dislikes or distrusts authority figures Talks back and are extremely participatory No procedural self-talk How do the characteristics of poverty surface at school?
Success in School • Requires students to learn two sets of hidden rules • Requires students to utilize resources • Requires students to translate the abstract to the concrete
Abstract vs. Concrete thinking • School requires students to translate the abstract to the concrete. • Let’s build bridges that close the gap between the abstract and the concrete.
Mental Models • Mental Models are how the mind holds abstract information • Mental Models “collapse” the amount of time it takes to teach / learn something • Mental Models serve as graphic organizers and provide a blueprint for understanding
Another Way of Seeing Anchors PA Academic Standards Assessment Anchors
A Graphic Organizer PA Academic Standards Reporting Categories Assessment Anchors Descriptors Eligible Content
Open-Ended Response Questions Turn the Question around Answer the question Give specific number of details
Teachers use mental models to explain and teach complex ideas. Teachers guide students in creating mental models Students develop their own effective, personal mental models. Ultimate Goal
Questioning Strategies • “Without strong questioning skills, we are just passengers on someone else's tour bus. We may be on the highway, but someone else is doing the driving.”
4 Types of Questions • "Right there" questions (text explicit). These are literal questions where the answer is in the text itself. • Think and search" questions (text implicit). The answer is implicit in the text but the student must synthesize, infer, or summarize to find the answer. Think and search questions tend to be more open-ended without set answers. " "
"A reader with no questions might just as well abandon the book." • "Reader and author" questions (text implicit or experience-based). The answer needs the reader to combine his or her own experiences with what the text states, i.e., the knowledge presented by the author. • On my own" questions (text implicit or experience-based). The reader needs to generate the answer from his or her prior knowledge. The reader may not need to read the text to answer, but the answer would certainly be shaped differently after reading the text.
Question 1 Which word best describes Edison’s reaction when his first phonograph worked? A. boastful B. surprised C. inspired D. reserved B.1.1.1
Question 2 The passage is mostly organized by A. cause and effect. B. sequence of events C. problem and solution D. comparison and contrast B.3.3.1
Question 3 Based on the passage, readers can conclude that telegraphs were A. machines that transmitted sound. B. invented after the phonograph. C. machines that recorded sound. D. made using large brass horns. A.1.3.1 or A.2.3.1
Question 4 What does the word skeptical mean as used in the passage? A. unkind B. neutral C. doubtful D. recorded A.1.2.2 or A.2.2.2
Question 5 Which sentence best summarizes the effect Dick Fosbury had on his sport? A. “But Fosbury easily made the qualifying jumps to advance to the next day’s final round.” B. “He began to experiment during practice sessions, bending various ways as he jumped.” C. “Today it is rare to find a successful high jumper anywhere who doesn’t use the flop style.” D. “But Fosbury worked hard at his high jumping and began to lift weights to increase his strength.” A.1.5.1 or A.2.5.1
Question 6 According to the passage, the O’Brien home was not destroyed at the turn of the century because A. a secret passageway was found in the library. B. the family had wealth and political influence. C. a tree was found in the backyard of the home. D. The home had historical and architectural value. A.1.4.1 or A.2.4.1
Question 7 Which of these sentences indicates that the passage is written from a first-person point of view? A. “When local officials arrived for an appraisal, they discovered that the house had a backyard, which is forbidden by zoning restrictions.” B. “In the yard was a live tree – an oke was what Mom called it.” C. “On the way back, Mom and Dad were silent, and I read through one of the brochures the guide had passed out.” D. “It had none of the marble gloss or steely sheen of modern buildings, but was rather a dull white color, with the paint peeling in places. B.2.2.1