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Teaching Promising Students Who Live In Poverty Lisa L. Swope Radford City Public Schools Spring 2013 Based on Conference Proceedings from the National.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching Promising Students Who Live In Poverty Lisa L. Swope Radford City Public Schools Spring 2013 Based on Conference Proceedings from the National."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching Promising Students Who Live In Poverty Lisa L. Swope Radford City Public Schools Spring 2013 Based on Conference Proceedings from the National Leadership Conference on Low- Income Promising Learners, edited by Joyce Van Tassel-Baska and Tamra Stambaugh and published by the National Association for Gifted Children and the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William & Mary

2 Some flowers are planted, nurtured, and grow into what they were created to be. Rooted, nurtured, optimal conditions creates an easier path to success

3 Others must overcome great obstacles if they are to survive at all. Insecure attachment, neglect, less than optimal environment creates obstacles to success

4 Children of plenty have early needs met, are nurtured, and are primed to reach their full potential. Primed to reach full potential

5 Children of poverty have needs that are unmet, are often neglected, and their potential is rarely realized. Unmet needs and undeveloped potential

6 Poverty in the United States The U.S. has more poor children than any developed nation in the world One in five children is poor; one in four children in school is poor One third of all children born in 2000 will experience poverty at some point in their lives

7 America’s Children LevelDefinitionAnnual IncomePercent of 73 Million U.S. Children Low-IncomeFamily income two times the Federal Poverty Level $40,000 for a family of four About 22% or 16 million Child PovertyFamily income below the Federal Poverty Level $20,000 for a family of four About 11% or 8 million Extreme Child Poverty Family income below half the Federal Poverty Level $10,000 for a family of four About 7% or 5 million

8 Some Truths of Poverty There is no “typical” low income student; poverty’s effects depend on when poverty occurs, the depth of poverty, and its duration Poverty is not caused by a student’s membership in a specific race or ethnic group; it is based on their family’s income level

9 Some Truths of Poverty The poor move often; 22% of children under five have moved in the past year 14% of the GDP is spent on health care (more than any other nation) and the U.S. is 24 th in life expectancy In Texas and Arizona, only 25% of the state’s citizens have health insurance One in five children has no health insurance

10 Some Truths of Poverty 47% of poor families are headed by a working single mother 16.9% of US children are poor; 9.7% of people over 65 are poor; and 11.8% of all other ages are poor Poverty amplifies all other negative factors in a child’s life

11 Obstacles to Education The poor often feel they have little control over fate Suffer from low self-worth Have seen unhealthy generational patterns modeled in their households Parents’ low educational levels Specific negative cultural attitudes toward school and learning

12 Students Face Obstacles to Education Family obligations beyond achievement in school No money for extra educational opportunities Low family expectations (and lower teacher expectations) Peer group influence Low SES schools tend to focus only on teaching to the test, leading to underachievement for the “invisible” gifted child

13 The Invisible Gifted Child

14 How to Serve Promising Students of Poverty Challenge through a rigorous curriculum Raise expectations Incorporate a triad of support: teacher/mentor/parent Access to extra-curricular academic programs Early intervention (quality pre-school)

15 Effective Identification Procedures Non-biased testing Multiple assessment measures Allow anyone to refer students

16 Effective Curriculum Challenging and rigorous Built-in support strategies Opportunities for creativity Opportunities outside the classroom (summer enrichment experiences, field trips, etc.)

17 Effective Instruction Hands-on science Flexible grouping Early algebra (calculus before graduation) Advanced curriculum Advanced Placement Dual Enrollment Family involvement Outside opportunities (Jack Kent Cook Foundation; Gates Foundation; Summer Residential Governor’s Schools)

18 Effective Instruction Rigor, Rigor, Rigor Opportunity to “test out” Enriching content Problem-based learning Engaging research Opportunities to examine data and to question assumptions Teach study skills

19 Effective Support Preparing for college (financial forms, applications) Involve families and mentors Publicize scholarship opportunities for summer and after-school programs (Virginia Association for the Gifted) Steer toward help for the psychological and emotional issues that come from poverty

20 Challenges Most talent is nurtured or lost between birth and five years of age; much giftedness in poor children is emergent and must be nurtured before it can be identified While crime rates are down, infant murder continues to soar….an infant is ten times more likely to die on the day of his birth than any other day in his life. Income data is a good predictor of who lives or dies

21 Challenges A haphazard approach to childcare and pre-school programs in the U.S. When all children are in a high quality pre-school together, children of privilege and children of poverty do equally well

22 Our Challenges Underfunded schools….students in poor areas report an average 38 books in the home; students in prosperous areas report an average of 108 books in the home Less public money is spent on poorer schools than on wealthier schools Teaching to the test is most common in poor schools; minimum competency requirements stress being adequate, and not reaching toward a student’s highest potential

23 Our Challenges Research has done an incomplete job sorting out the multiple causes and effects of poverty, making it harder to develop strategies to compensate Teachers struggle to implement strategies to help promising students of poverty due to the current focus on standards assessment Only 1/3 of homes have children; reluctance of voters to support funding for education

24 Effective Coping Strategies of Promising Students of Poverty Confronting Reframing Persisting “Showing” them Working harder Armoring Ignoring

25 From One Who Made It “Poverty. Oh, it’s the absolute truth. It had to do more with the impact on your self- concept. I wore hand-me-down clothes…It was a struggle just to look nice everyday. You look at folks, and I knew I was smarter than they were, but they had so much more. That was probably one of the biggest obstacles, along with favoritism toward young women with long hair and light skin.

26 From One Who Made It First off it was my mother (who encouraged me) and the fact that she thought education was important and then she instilled that in us. Secondly it had to be my aunt and uncle who valued that and wanted it. And thirdly it had to have been my teachers. Their expectations were high. They were very strict. They demanded a lot. They gave you a lot of love. You knew they really cared about you. Even when they were being what we call ‘mean.’ They were my role models.”

27 And From A Teacher “Fellow citizens, why do you turn and scrape every stone to gather wealth and take so little care of your children, to whom one day you must relinquish all?” ~ Socrates

28 Our Task


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