Poverty in America

There has always been a problem in America that continues to grow each year. This problem is known as poverty. To understand people from poverty, one must understand what poverty is. Ruby Payne defines poverty as, “the extent to which an individual does without resources.” In this paper, I will describe what the impact of poverty has on learning.

There are eight resources that are recognized by Ruby Payne. The first resource that is recognized is Financial. Financial is defined as having the money to purchase goods and services. Second, is Emotional and this is defined as being able to handle situations emotionally through internal resources such as perseverance, choices and stamina. Third, is mental. Mental is having the acquired skills and mental capability to deal with everyday life. Forth, there is Spiritual. Spiritual is when a person believes in a greater purpose and direction. Fifth, is Physical and this is when a person has physical health and can get around. Sixth, is Support System and this is having backup resources available to access in times of need that are external resources such as: friends and family. Seventh is Relationship/Role Models and having everyday access to encouraging adults that can help children develop positively and they do not engage in negative behavior. Eight and lastly is Knowledge of Hidden Rules. Knowledge of hidden Rules is having the knowledge of the silent habits and signs of a group.

There are two types of poverty described by Payne. These are Generational and situational poverty. Generational poverty is described as being in poverty for two generations. When a person comes from generational poverty, they tend to believe that someone owes them a living. Situational poverty is described as being in poverty do to a situation or situations such as but are not limited to: death, chronic illness, and divorce. When a person comes from situational poverty, they tend to have pride and do not like to ask for assistance.

There are many characteristics of poverty. Poverty characteristics will surface at school and impact learning because students are very disorganized, lose papers and make excuses for why they do not have homework. Another characteristic of poverty that will impact learning is that they will not do homework or assignments and if they do it will only be part of it. Children from poverty tend to be aggressive physically. They like to handle situations their own way and laugh when they are disciplines. They also want to entertain by telling stories, etc. These children cannot monitor their own behavior because they do not feel they are doing anything wrong. They usually have trouble getting started on assignments, tasks, and anything else required of them. They have no procedural self-talk.

Cueing or signals exist among groups and classes. Groups can be racial or ethnic. These hidden rules have an impact on school and work achievement. The hidden rules consist of the following: possessions, money, personality, social emphasis, food, clothing, time, educations, destiny, language, family structure, worldview, love, driving forces, and humor. Someone from poverty would believe money is for spending, while middle class would manage the money and the wealthy would invest. This is an example of the hidden rule differences among classes.

Support systems are family or friends. Support systems are how one copes with daily living, problem solving options, knowing where to get information and how to use it, relief, people, resources and positive and procedural self-talk. Schools use support systems for children of poverty. Some schools have homework support. In homework support, the school has tutors to help children with their homework until it is finished and then a late bus or parents take the children home. Anther example of a school support system for children of poverty is supplemental school wide reading program. This is also known as accelerated reader programs, also known as AR. In AR, students read books and are tested on the computer over what they read. In this program, students are not penalized for what their parents cannot help them with.

Discipline has been used for years to teach children to not get caught doing something they are not supposed to do. However, this does not create a desirable change. To effectively discipline children of poverty the two anchors are structure and choice. In this program, expected behaviors are clear as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior. In this program, children can choose how they want to act but are aware of the consequences if they choose the lesser of the two.

The ability to plan and systematically go through data comes from cognitive. This is a strategy that is built form mediation. Mediation is the identification of the stimulus, assignment of meaning and a strategy of identification. Cognitive strategies come from input, elaboration, and output. Instruction should be on learning and in the cognitive strategies and be part of the curriculum.

One of the aspects of language is register. There are five registers in every language of the world. The five registers are as follows: frozen, formal, consultative, casual and intimate. In the formal register, the goal is to get to the point and in casual register a person talks round and round then gets to the point. The problem that is caused or what impacts learning is tests are in formal register. In order to have formal register, one must have vocabulary and sentence structure. Most educators become frustrated with students who use casual register because they cannot get straight to the point. Casual resister is how poverty students communicate and one way to help them learn formal register. Have students write in casual and translate to formal. Make sure students understand that learning formal register can benefit them in the future to attain a better paying job or get better scores on tests.

Patterns of living are realty affected by poverty. In generational poverty, most marital arrangements are common-law and most divorces come from leaving. These marriages are not recognized as legal and they do not usually have anything to split. The mother is the center of the family. Family history is usually hard to track due to the lack of marriage and most times the uncertainty to who the father is.

Economic realities have a big affect on poverty children. Most of these children do not have adults that can help them with their homework. These children do not value education and will not unless we as educators build relationships with them to help them to value education and learning. To escape poverty, children need to value educational and how to use formal register to assist them with test scores. This is also important in persuading people to hire them. Therefore, poverty has a big affect on learning.

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