ESpartas_BulloughPayne - It is well known that students who...

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It is well known that students who come from poverty backgrounds often experience lower achievement than students from wealthier backgrounds. The roots to the cause of this are often complex and different for each individual student. However, if educators understand the possibilities of why students might be experiencing difficulties it becomes apparent that, though we may not be able to completely fix the problem, there are a number of things that can be done in order to aid students to achieve their greatest potential. Ruby K. Payne’ book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty (1996), illustrates the impact that poverty has on the choices one makes, one’s learning, and the work practices. Within the book poverty is defined as, “the extent to which an individual does without resources” and it is noted that in addition to financial poverty one can experience several other types of poverty such as: emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, support system, relationship/role model, and knowledge of hidden rules (Payne, 1996, p. 7). Within Robert V. Bulough’s book Uncertain Lives: Children of Promise, Teachers of Hope (2001) he illustrates the effect that educators can have on the lives of children who are experiencing trying circumstances. He does this through an examination of the lives of 34 children attending an urban elementary school. The children represented a “diverse group” and were interviewed, in addition to observations Bullough (2001) made (p. 7). His book is organized into six themes that he noticed as his case studies progressed: poverty, missing fathers, parental drug usage, abuse, injury and death, and family instability. As one reviews these works it is possible to identify why students living in these situations struggle and to see that it is possible for an educator to make a difference. Children living in a state of financial poverty experience many other types of poverty as well. Bullough (2001) details trends that poor families experience all too often. For instance, Randall, one of the case studies appearing in Uncertain Lives, is a student who moves
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often, as is a trend with poor families (p. 25). Frequent moves prevent him from forming a stable network of relationships. Within A Framework for Understanding Poverty Payne (1996) notes that relationships are an integral piece of achievement for students in poverty, because they are an essential component of that culture (in addition to entertainment); this is because much of the focus for these families is on immediate relief (p.109). However, all too often students experience lives without a stable network of relationships. Throughout Uncertain Lives Bullough (2001) illustrates time and time again the negative effect that faulty relationships have on children. It appears to be a theme existing throughout the many different case studies. In addition, Bullough (2001) illustrates the change stable relationships can make in the life of a child. For example, Shane moved from a highly unstable home (his mother was a drug addict) to
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This note was uploaded on 10/20/2011 for the course EDU 300 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '09 term at BYU.

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ESpartas_BulloughPayne - It is well known that students who...

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