Class Conscious

How Socio-Economic Status Impacts Education
Judith Pellettieri, Ed.D.

Golden Rule For Schools

ALL practices have to work for ALL students ALL of the time.

Know Your Clients
What is the make up of your classroom? What is the make up of your school? What is the make up of your community?

Know Their Class Lower Middle Upper Alternative .

Schools should be blind to class and not stereotype any one group.  Schools need to work for social and economic reform.The Great Class Debate Schools should acknowledge class and differentiate accordingly. .

.Common Belief It is beneficial to students to attend schools where their individual differences are respected and not viewed as deficiencies.

No Child Left Behind • • • • Focused us on differences Increased assessments Held us accountable Created need for differentiation .

How Are Students Different? Socio-economic Race Ethnicity Physical abilities Gender Learning abilities Family traditions Family structure Nutrition Support system Family history Urban / Rural Religion Family dynamics .

. ……. white milk or chocolate. hot lunch or cold lunch. tall and short. walkers and busers.Schools have to work for everyone! • • • • • Learning disabled (IEP) Gifted and talented (IAP) Special needs (504) Language needs (ESOL) Poor and rich.

School & Family Partnerships • Public schools operate from middle class norms and values. . • Individuals bring with them the hidden rules of the family in which they were raised.

Instruction to the Lower Class .

fired) .Causes of Poverty Lack of Human Capital Crisis (car accident. health.

Social Mobility One paycheck away from poverty Tend to reproduce your class .

Facts • The younger the child. • Maternal depression has a major impact on preschool learning. . • Maternal education is biggest indicator of child’s school success. the more likely they live in a low income family.

. • Poverty is the extent to which an individual is without resources • Language issues can cause students from generational poverty not to fully develop the cognitive structures needed to learn at the levels required by state tests.• Children of poverty may not know the hidden rules of the middle class.

• Direct teaching must occur to build these cognitive structures. . • Relationships are the key motivators for learning for students of generational poverty.

Care given by relatives. . Children play less. nap less. are not as ready for school. Children from centers are more ready for school.Child Care Upper/Middle Lower Center based care.

speaker or writer gets straight to the point.Registers of Language • Formal . • Casual .speaker or writer goes around the issue before finally coming to the point. Teachers using formal register can be viewed by parents of poverty as being rude and non-caring .

. Have classes that benefit parents. as a sign of respect. Deliver bad news through a story. or Mrs. Call them Mr. • • • • • • • Use the “museum format” for events. never sarcasm. Use humor. Have food.Tips for working with parents from poverty. Invite the children.

Emphasize that there are two sets of rules: one for school and work and one for outside of school and work. but firm.don’t show fear. Be understanding.Tips for working with parents from poverty • • • • • Offer a cup of coffee. Be personally strong . . • Don’t accept behaviors from adults that you don’t accept from students. Use the adult voice.

Everybody’s Problem Majority of Americans will experience poverty at some point in their lifetimes .

Instruction to the Upper Class .

Tips for working with parents from wealth • • • • • State the issue Be a confident listener / Take notes Stress the rules that will help their child Be firm about boundaries Be mindful of time .

.Tips for working with parents from wealth • Don’t use humor • Use experts by name • Don’t accept behaviors from adults that you don’t accept from students..

• Relationships are the key motivators for learning for students of from the upper class. money is only one. • Friends in high places • Children of wealth may not know the hidden rules of the middle class.Other Resources • Each individual has resources that greatly influence achievement. .

Needed For School Success Social skills .Pre language between parent and child - .Emotional skills .Early literacy skills .

Values Beliefs Support Systems .Education & Economic Class • Educators must recognize that class differences impact: Language.

. cheer leaders and role models.Relationships & Economic Class All children need protagonists.

Best Practices • • • • Form Relationships Parent / Teacher Conferences Student Centered Practices Maximin Principle .

• The welfare of the least advantaged is the touchstone of social justice. .Maximin Principle • Inequalities are permitted only when everyone benefits. • Some cannot be well off at the expense of others.

Adjust Your Lens After school activities PTO meetings. Winter Activities Book Fairs Bike Rodeos Breakfast and lunch Snacks Communication with home School phobias . etc.

boost or burden • Fundraising .individual or whole group .School Practices • Retention .gift of time or discrimination • Homework .

not the average.Ask Yourself Do you classroom or school practices work for all of your students? Are you making the welfare of the least advantaged. your touchstone? .

Schools As Solution Are your practices inclusive? What do you need to change? .

Diversity • “Young people whose languages and cultures differ from the dominant group must often struggle to sustain a clear image of themselves because differences are commonly treated as deficiencies by schools and teachers. “Affirming Diversity” .” • S. Nieto.

Underprivileged .. NY. “One Nation. • The Effects of Poverty on Learning. Ruby.Credits • Payne. 2004. NY and London. • Strike. Mark Robert. Highlands. Inc. 2000.Why American Poverty Affects Us All”. Bell “Where We Stand”. “A Framework For Understanding Poverty”. NY. Soltis. NH. 1998. “The Ethics of School”. NY. Head Start . TX. . Plymouth.. 1996. Rutledge. Haller.. NY. aha! Process.. Oxford University Press.Public School Transition Conference. • Rank. Jonas F. Teachers’ College Press. Emil J. Kenneth A. 2005 • Hooks.

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