A Framework for Understanding Poverty-An Overview

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Feb 2, 2013 (5 years and 5 months ago)


A Framework for Understanding
An Overview

By Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D.


to address the
Achievement Gap

by dealing with issues related to
poverty/not racial or cultural diversity


A Framework for Understanding Poverty

Professional Development Agenda


Understanding the Model’s Application
to Closing the Achievement Gap

Understanding the Key Points

Discussing school’s ability to provide

Identifying the components of the
framework and strategies for
ensuring success

Closing the Gap Goals

To ensure that ALL children are able
to achieve the standards as set forth
by the State of Florida (Rigor)

To ensure that our data shows no
gaps in learning between
socioeconomic groups or races

To ensure that all children move to
the next level ready to learn and
graduate ready to live well

How Can Ruby Payne’s Model

Bill Daggett suggests that:

Rigor + Relevance + Relationships=

Higher Achievement

Ruby Payne suggests that:

Rigor + Relevance + Relationships=

Higher Achievement

And….that educators can better ensure all
students achieve at high levels by applying
her framework.

Ruby’s Key Points

Poverty is relative.

Poverty occurs in
all races/all

Economic class is a
continuous line/not
a clear

Generation &
situational poverty
are different.

This work is based
on patterns; all
patterns have

Individuals bring
with them hidden
rules of their class.

Schools operate
from the middle
class norms and

Examples of Rules:


Middle Class





One of a kind
objects or


Use or



View of the




Key Points (continued):

We must understand the hidden rules but
teach students the rules that will make
them successful. We must teach them that
there are two sets of rules.

We cannot excuse or scold students for
NOT KNOWING; we must teach them and
provide support, insistence, and

To move from poverty to middle class or
middle class to wealth, an individual must
give up relationships for achievement (at
least for some period of time).

Key Points:

Two things which help one move out
of poverty are: education &

Four reasons one leaves poverty are:
too painful to stay; vision or goal;
key relationships; special talent/skill

Some Facts about Poverty

Poor children are more likely than non
poor children to:

be in single
parent families

be victims of child abuse/neglect

have parents with low educational

Some Facts about Poverty

Poor children are more likely than
poor children to:


suffer developmental delays and



drop out of high school


give birth during the teen years


score poorly on standardized tests

We must, then, attend to the
needs of children living in
poverty, and……………

they are present in every one of
our schools!

Poverty and Resources

Poverty is the
extent to which an
individual does
without resources.

The ability to leave
poverty depends
on many
not just

What are the Necessary Resources?






Support Systems

Relationships/Role Models

Knowledge of Hidden Rules

Which of these resources can
a school impact/provide?

Talk at your table and be prepared to
report to the group.

Why is the idea of resources

To dispense advice or seek solutions
to situations, we must know what
resources are available (not only from
a middle class point of view)

By understanding resources, we can
influence non
financial resources (for
example: being a role model)

Language, Story Structure,
Cognition (Remember Rita!)

Registers: frozen, formal,
consultative, casual, intimate

In poverty, majority of students have
no access to formal register at home.

Thus, cannot use formal register.

How Does This Impact
Learning/Overall Success in School/in

Registers of Language: Discourse Patterns
(Organizational Pattern of Information)

Primary discourse: language 1

around the issue)

Secondary discourse: language of larger
society (formal
to the point)

Discourse is how one thinks

Do better in school if instruction is provided
through primary, BUT:

Students living in poverty must be taught
to think in secondary discourse

Story Structure

Starts at the beginning and goes to
the end in an accepted narrative pattern.
The plot is the most important part.

Begins with the end or the part that
is most emotional with a focus on

Which structure contributes to effective
learning? How can schools address this

Addressing Language Issues

Permit students to
write in casual &
translate to formal

Require students to
speak in formal when
they are facing

Use graphic organizers
to show patterns

Tell stories both ways
and compare/contrast

Use stories across the

Teach formal register,
discourse patterns, &
story structure directly

Relate need to learn to
success in work.

Hidden Rules

Take the quiz while discussing it at
your table.

Discuss the hidden rules as identified
by the chart. How do these manifest
themselves in schools? Be prepared
to share.

Hidden Rules/Mental Models

The assumption is that everyone
knows what you know.

We see the world and react to
situations through our own mental
models but we really do not realize
this fact.

Hidden rules govern how we assess
another individual and his/her

Why do schools need to understand
the concept of hidden rules?

To ensure that expectations do not
differ from student to student

To teach students the hidden rules of
middle class to mastery

To be able to work within a family’s
rules when exploring solutions to
problems/not imposing MC rules

To lessen frustration levels

Characteristics of Generational

Generational vs. Situational/Middle Class:
(background noise; personality; entertainment;
relationships; matriarchal; oral language; survival;
lover/fighter role; rescuer/martyr role; non
kinesthetic; owning people; negative orientation;
discipline; belief in fate; polarized thinking; mating
dance; time; sense of humor; lack of order; lives in
the moment; different family patterns)

How does this impact the school environment and

What does this mean for schools?

Education is the key to getting out:
goal or vision; painful situation;
mentor; talent or skill: relationships

Rarely related to lack of intelligence
or ability: rigor

Stay because don’t know choice
exists; have nobody to teach rules or
help with resources: schools virtually
only place to provide help

Role Models/Emotional Resources

System: group in which individuals
have rules, roles, and relationships

Dysfunctional: extent to which an
individual cannot get needs met
within the system

To move from poverty, one must
move from the “system” & give up
relationships/need emotional

Developing Emotional Resources

Provide support systems

Use appropriate discipline strategies

Establish long
term relationships

Teach hidden rules

ID options

Increase achievement level through
good instruction

Teach goal setting

Discipline: about penance and
forgiveness/not change

Policy should provide structure (clear
expectations/consequences) and teach
about choices/and should be for the
purpose of promoting good behavior.

Interventions should be based on
understanding of poverty and should teach.

Teach students to use the language of
negotiation/use of adult voice.

Explain the possible need for 2 sets of

Instruction and Improving

Low achievement is closely correlated
with lack of resources, and numerous
studies have documented the
correlation between low SES and low

Focus on research on learning (what
does on inside the head) and not
teaching (occurs outside the head) to
change this fact.

Learning Structures

Cognitive Strategies


& Retrieve Info


Of content

Content/the what

or information used

to make sense

of life

Cognitive Strategies

Fundamental ways
of processing

Infrastructures of
the mind

Work by R.

Must directly teach
ability to plan and
systematically go
through data

Must use mediation
to ensure effective
learning occurs

Not just “don’t
cross street, or you
could get hit by a
car,” but……..

Also the teaching
of a strategy: If
you must go, look
both ways twice.

Three Stages in the Learning Process
for Teaching Cognitive Strategies

Input like using planning behaviors

Elaboration like defining a problem

Output like using precise language

Regardless of the content, students
are taught the strategies and then
are required to use.

PK, Reading Programs, CSR,
Prevention/Support Programs, Parent


Teach effective eye movements

Use graphic organizers

Teach systematic approaches to the
data/text (highlighting)

Establish goal setting/self

Teach conceptual frameworks

Use kinesthetic approach

Use rubrics


Teach structure of language

Teach to make questions

Teach mental models

Make learning/not teaching the focus

Teach teachers to diagnose and then

Teach to the process/not just content

Creating Relationships

Key to achievement: creating relationships
with students

Relationships are most significant motivator

Resilient kids are the result of caring

Use Covey’s emotional bank account model

Create a caring school, promote
achievement, be role models, insist upon
successful behaviors

“No significant learning occurs
without a significant relationship.”

Dr. James Comer

Why A Focus on this Framework?

As Covey tells us, “Seek first to

We need to understand the
motivation and perspectives of our
children who come from poverty if we
are to successfully teach them.

Where to Go from Here?

Faculty Overview

Faculty Study Groups

Designing Your School’s Changes

Making a Difference for Those We
Serve Who Are Living in Poverty