Poverty Day One Review and Language


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  • This is a workshop about class. It is a workshop about economic diversity. It is not about race because Ruby Payne's area of expertise is class, not race. This is simply about issues of class and about how class impacts so many of the things we see. Ruby took a job in Barrington, Illinois, as an elementary principal. Ninety-five percent of the parents were in the top 1 percent of household income in the United States. A myth we have in America is that if you're wealthy, you're smarter. The school had wealthy African Americans, Hispanics, Caucasians, Asians, and East Indians, and Ruby could not tell any difference among them. If they had a package of resources, they were doing equally well. The research is this: There is no difference in achievement levels of white and minority children if the net worth of the households is the same. They hired Ruby in Barrington because even though the children had so much money they weren't learning very well; their achievement scores were low. Ruby began researching what it is that makes a difference in learning. One day Ruby met a Russian man who was driving a limo. He had been a teacher in Russia, and his wife had been a medical doctor. They came to this country because of poor wages in Russia. He told Ruby, "If you have to work all day just to have enough money for food for one day for one person, that's what you're going to spend all your time doing. But if you can make enough money for food in one day to keep two people alive, that other person can do something besides survive and work." That story is a metaphor for this workshop. Learning takes time. You have to devote time to learning these things because many of them are unrelated to daily life, but people don't devote the time to learning that it needs. Most people keep the same mindsets, the same habits, the same belief systems they've always had—even when they don't need them anymore—unless one or two things happen: They get relationships, they get education.
  • What is the key point in this statement "Poverty is relative“? Would you be wealthy, middle class, or poor if you earned your current salary in New York City? The first point is that poverty is relative, and so is wealth. A lot of people will say to you, "We were poor growing up. Everybody was poor. We didn't think a thing about it." It is really relative to what you know. Many people in wealth will say to you, "You know, it's all on paper anyway." Or they'll cite someone who has more than they do. It's really relative to your situation.
  • Poverty occurs in all races. Poverty is increasing; the disparity between the wealthy and the poor is growing. This is the fourth time in the history of the United States that the disparity has been this great. The level of educational attainment and family structure correlates with the level of poverty: These two impact children the most. The second point is that poverty occurs in all races. All races have poor, wealthy, and middle class. What we know right now in the United States is that about the greatest number and the greatest percentage of people in poverty are children. A child is defined as anybody under the age of 18. Poverty in 2001 was established at $17,600 for a family of four. The greatest number of children in poverty are white, but the greatest percentage is by minority group. The minority group with the highest percentage of child poverty seems to be Native American, followed by African American, followed by Hispanic, followed by Asian, followed by Caucasian. About one of five of children in the U.S. is living in poverty. Child poverty is growing fastest in rural areas and first-ring suburbs. There are two reasons: education of parents and family structure. There are five main reasons for poverty in the United States. The first reason is the educational attainment level of the adult. The second reason: family structure. The third one is immigration. The fourth is language issues. And the fifth reason is the addiction issues of the adult or adults in the home.
  • Generational and situational poverty are different. For this work, when we refer to poverty we are refering to Generational Poverty. There is a distinction between generational and situational poverty: Generational means a person has been that way for two generations or more; situational poverty is when there is a death, a divorce, or an illness—and resources are temporarily reduced (college days or the first few years of teaching). There is as much difference in thinking between generational and situational poverty as there is between old and new money. Middle class equals education beyond high school; most people move one class in a lifetime. When you're moving from poverty to middle class or middle class to wealth, you're using part of the rules you grew up with and part of the rules you are moving to. But when you have been in poverty two generations, those are the only rules you know. They shape your thinking. Forty percent of American adults live in the class they were raised in. The term poverty in this workshop means generational: It has been that way for at least two generations.
  • The next point is about patterns. Exceptions, exceptions, exceptions... all of the information presented is a documented pattern, your experience with poverty may have some differences, as each situation is different, but outside of the differences, patterns of behavior are present. We are looking at the patterns. The longer the child is in poverty, the less opportunity there is for change. This is a pattern. If you talk about a group of people, you have to talk about their patterns. But if you apply those patterns to everybody in the group, you've stereotyped. That is not what this is about.
  • The patterns we're going to talk about are economic, because most schools operate from middle-class norms and values. [Use Rita's story about the boy who had no alarm clock.]
  • We are this rich piece of fabric that is very different from person to person. We have a thread that came from our race, our religion, the region of the country we grew up in, aging, economics, and cross-cultural threads like gender. Each of us in here brings with us a whole set of hidden rules. One of the areas we have hidden rules about is food. Food is very important because food is often the line between being destitute and merely being poor. The issue around food and poverty is quantity. The question after a meal is "Are you full? Did you have enough?" In middle class people have too much food. They're always on this or that diet. So the issue around food is quality. The questions after the meal are "Did you like it? Was it good?" In wealth the issue around food is presentation. The questions after a meal are "Was it artistically presented? Did it have aesthetic appeal? Did it go with the theme?" The big problem with hidden rules is that they're seldom articulated. But more importantly, they're equated with intelligence. Members of the group that has the most power, the most money, or the greatest number of people … believe that their hidden rules are the best. So if you don't use them, it's because you're either stupid or rude.
  • We're only looking at this one tiny thread in the fabric of an individual's life, and that's the thread around economics . There are many cultural differences, but Ruby says she doesn’t feel qualified to discuss them. This study is cross-cultural and focuses on economics.
  • What are we going to do about all of this? The thing people want to do is to be mad or to feel sorry. The problem is that neither of those approaches is going to help that particular student. Not everyone wants to be middle class, though just about everyone wants the money. This is about choice. There is no choice if you are not educated. At least a ninth-grade reading level is needed to make it out of poverty.
  • What we do is teach them (the students) that there are two sets of rules. If you're in a poor area and you can't physically fight, you're not going to make it. If you bring physical fighting into the school, you're out. We must teach students this: There are two sets of rules; you need more than one set. One of the myths of middle class is that everybody wants to be middle class, and that isn’t true. What just about everybody wants is more money. One of the myths of wealth is that everybody wants to be in wealth. No. Everybody wants more money—not necessarily the lifestyle. When you educate, you give choice. When you're educated, you can choose whether you want to make a change or not. But when you're not educated, you never even have the choice.
  • The dilemma is about time; a person has to choose. The reason many adults in poverty choose not to leave and why many students in school quit learning is this: T o move from poverty to middle class or middle class to wealth, there's a period of time in there where you have to give up relationships for achievement, because you don't have enough time for both.
  • There are two key things that help one move out of poverty: education and relationships.
  • There tend to be four reasons one leaves poverty: * It’s too painful to stay * A vision or goal * A key relationship * A special talent or skill
  • Resources If you have fewer than three resources, you will be more likely to make poor choices. Of these resources, which one in the research makes the biggest difference in lifelong learning? It's relationships/role models. In the research in his brilliant book The Growth of the Mind Stanley Greenspan shows that almost no learning occurs without a significant relationship. It just doesn't happen. This is the same point Dr. Comer made earlier. Among wealthy students, Ruby found this is the resource (relationships/role models) that they usually don't have. The irony of this is: That's the one resource on the list money can't buy. Which one of these do you think makes the biggest difference in your lifelong stability? It's emotional resources. It's the ability to be alone when times are bad and not be destructive—to self or others. You get a lot of your emotional resources from relationships. Emotional resources involve the internal line that we don't cross when we're angry. Which one would you guess makes the biggest difference in school success? It's really support systems, which are not just money and friends but know-how. That's why the research is that there's no difference between minority and white achievement if the net worth of the household is the same. Net worth speaks to the level of the support system. The way a support system shows up in school is in homework and projects. Support systems include such things as health insurance, knowledge base, friends, and family. Do you have someone who can help you out with it when you cannot or do not want to do it? Why would spiritual resources be on this list? They give hope. The second thing is this: In the resiliency research on adults who have made it out of very difficult situations, one of the high, high correlates is they had a strong belief in a higher power. Mental resources are on this list, and they just mean you read, write, and compute. What mental resources really give you is the ability to know whether or not the information you have is correct. Inappropriate behavior usually begins when some of these are missing. Students may want you to focus on their behavior rather than on their lack of academic skills. Physical resources means your body works. It does not mean you have a car. If you have ever been sick and aggravated that you couldn't get up and do something you needed to do, you know what a difference physical resources can make.
  • Module 3 will be broken into two sessions. During this first session we will define different registers language, and develop ways to assist students in learning formal register. Module 3 The objectives for Module 3 are to distinguish among the different registers of language and assist students in the development of formal register, to utilize story structure when working with certain students and parents, and to understand mediation and cognitive strategies. Please refer to chapters 2-8 in the book A Framework for Understanding Poverty and to the book Understanding Learning for more information about these three objectives.
  • Registers of Language In 1967 Martin Joos, a Dutch linguist, found that no matter what language you have in the world, there are five registers. The first register is frozen: words that are always the same, like the Lord's Prayer, U.S. Pledge of Allegiance , wedding vows. Literally, the words don't change. They're frozen. Formal: what most of us use at school and work. It's about a 1200- to 1600-word working vocabulary. Often formal register is in writing. Consultative tends to be more spoken, and it's a mix of casual and formal . Casual register is language between friends. It comes out of the oral-language tradition of any group of people. It has about a 400- to 800-word working vocabulary. Intimate register is what is used between lovers and twins: highly private language about private activities. But intimate register also is the language of sexual harassment. You can go up or down one register in a conversation, and it's socially acceptable. But if you go up or down two registers or more, people often are offended. Maria Montano-Harmon, a linguist in California, found that in generational poverty virtually all that the adults and students know is casual register. Use the registers of language as a teaching tool. Many times when students say, "I don't know what that means," they cannot say it in your words. How much time do we give them to translate something from casual register to formal register? Try translating the Pledge of Allegiance from frozen to formal. See how difficult that is? Take a moment and translate the Pledge of Allegiance into casual register. I am with the Flag, of the country ‘cause it be about all of us, and the states, and with god. It is not easy for us to work backwards in this way now imagine that you only have casual language how easy will it be to operate in Formal register.
  • [Use this chart to talk about the research about language in children from ages 1 to 3 in stable households by economic group.] These are the number of words that the child hears, not knows. It is simple exposure. There is one affirmation for every two prohibitions in welfare, two affirmations for every prohibition in working class , and five affirmations for every prohibition in professional families . can’t write non-verbal when you read you use syntax, vocab and visual ques, without syntax and vocab, you are left with only visual. This is due to oral language not being developed.
  • Module 3 is important for understanding key components: language and story. Resources for working with this module include: * A Framework for Understanding Poverty * Understanding Learning: the How, the Why, the What When students speak in casual register, have them come up with two other ways to say it in formal register. Give information to parents and students in story form.
  • Registers of language There is another issue that's a hidden rule: a cognitive issue and a reading comprehension issue. It's about how you use language to convey meaning . These two things—discourse and registers—impact reading and writing tremendously. Discourse is the meat, the logic, the reasoning of the argument. In formal register, we want people to get to the point. But in casual register, you "beat around the bush" for a while before getting there. More on that a bit later. In middle class, when somebody's talking about something another person doesn't want to talk about, the person just changes the subject. In generational poverty, you tend to tell the listeners what they want to hear.
  • There's an Israeli gentleman who has worked with a group of students/adults for 50 years. His name is Reuven Feuerstein, and he said this: "It's possible to have a brain and not have a mind. A brain is inherited; a mind is developed.“ About 50 percent of you are developed by your environment and about 50 percent by your genetics. To survive in poverty, you have to be very non-verbal and very sensory-based. To survive in school, you have to be very verbal and very abstract. Each of us in this room is successful because we've built this abstract structure (inside our head) that replicates external reality. We use abstract systems to communicate. Mr. Celsius and Mr. Fahrenheit wanted a better way to talk about heat than "It's so hot it warped the railroad tracks"; so they developed an abstract system, but that is an overlay over sensory-based reality. It's not the same thing. Examples of abstraction include verbal, proactive, and abstract skills. In wealth, people want documented history of an item: the originator, money spent for original purchase, and who else owned it. In middle class, abstraction is represented in terms of such things as insurance, finances, deeds, and any way to keep track of paper and space. In poverty, there are virtually no systems for keeping track of paper; there aren't systems for keeping track of paper because people in poverty don't think it's important to do so. Grades are not important in poverty because they're written on paper. It's the ability to operate at not only the sensory level but also at the abstract level that makes you and me successful. Feuerstein took kids who came to Israel at 13 to 14 years of age (their average IQ at the time was 50); many of them went on to get their doctorate. He said, "You can remediate the mind. " Feuerstein also said, "I think what makes a significant difference in learning is when a nurturing and caring adult deliberately makes an intervention." He called it mediation. He borrowed that term from Vygotsky. It is the mediation on the behalf of a caring adult that makes the largest difference in a childs learning. From the time we are born our parents are constantly mediating our learning. Parents teach us how to sort, decode, and filter all of the stimulis we encounter. Development when mediation is lacking or nonexistant, creates many problems for childeren. These children do not have the skills to deal with new stimuli, and in most cases do not know what sitmuli to respond to and are overwhelmed. So when a new situation with new stimuli comes about most individuals act out or behave unacceptably out of fear. Fear of not knowing how to handle the stimuli. Most of the strats, used in this program are based on the understanding of and application of mediating information. Mediating the information allows the development of abstract thought which is heavly used in middle class. What, Why, How. Crossing the street example. mid pov. Groc. Shopping. Wealth Mid Pov. [Epigenetics research: People Like Us (1-800-343-5540) or www.pbs.org/peoplelikeus ]
  • Students get referred for discipline because of language issues when they're in the wrong register. A sixth-grade boy was sent to the office because he told the teacher that something "sucked." Well, part of his discipline was to find two ways to say "sucked" in formal register. His first translation was "I don't like this work." His second translation was "There's no longer any joy in this activity." One of the issues in this whole area of registers is this: The abstract words—all of them—are in formal register. One of the reasons there's so much violence in poverty is that when you have only casual register, you don't have the words to resolve a conflict. What they tell you in conflict resolution is this: To resolve a conflict, you have to get away from the personal to the issue. Well, to get to issues, you must have abstract words. Research by Hart and Risley shows that the average 3-year-old in a professional household has a larger vocabulary than the average adult on welfare. In the 1999 book Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children, the authors estimate that children at 36 months in professional families have a working vocabulary of 1,200 words, while it’s 900 words for adults on welfare. The amount, kind, and organization of language varies because environment requires different things for you to survive. Brainstorm for paper reps. in “Teachers World”. Share as a small/Large Group. Paper world (Abstract vs. Concrete.) Abstract = ability to have future story Middle class is a paper world, and poverty is not a paper world. Paper in middle class is an abstract representation—for example, a deed that says you own your house and the land it “sits” on and your marriage certificate that says you are married. A picture of you is a representation—it is not you . Wealth has provenance, which is a piece of paper that identifies the item that you own; it traces origin and traces every person who ever owned it. Paper in poverty does not have much meaning. A lot of the time it is missing, unorganized. The only paper that might be around is a birth cert. and/or a bible. Wic, Food Stamps.. What impact does this knowledge have on your teaching experiences? Small group Large group. Strat. “ Use a paper map mounted on each students’ desk, ill. how the contents in the desk are org.”
  • Feuerstein also said this: When you have an individual who has not been well mediated to the abstract, it's not unusual to get this next pattern. You cannot plan. When you cannot plan, you can't predict. And when you can't predict, you don't know cause and effect. And when you don't know cause and effect, you don't know consequence. And when you don't know consequence, you can ' t control impulsivity. And when you can ' t control impulsivity, you have an inclination to criminal behavior. Parting Thought: Even though we are looking at this in relationship to poverty, know that these issues also occur when there is a loss of ones native culture, a shift in family structure, or a move from low tech society to high tech society.
  • Poverty Day One Review and Language

    1. 1. A Framework for Understanding Poverty aha! Process, Inc., Highlands, TX www.ahaprocess.com PowerPoint Presentation Version 2.0 Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D.
    2. 2. This is a workshop about economic diversity, not racial or cultural diversity.
    3. 3. <ul><li>1. Poverty is relative. </li></ul>Key Point
    4. 4. <ul><li>2. Poverty occurs in all races. </li></ul>Key Point
    5. 5. <ul><li>3. Generational and situational poverty are different. </li></ul>Key Point
    6. 6. <ul><li>4. This work is based on patterns. All patterns have exceptions . </li></ul>Key Point
    7. 7. <ul><li>5. Schools operate from middle-class norms and values. </li></ul>Key Point
    8. 8. <ul><li>Individuals bring with them the hidden rules of the class in which they were </li></ul><ul><li>raised. </li></ul>Key Point
    9. 9. <ul><li>7. There are cultural differences in poverty. This study is cross-cultural and focuses on economics. </li></ul>Key Point
    10. 10. <ul><li>8. We must neither excuse them nor scold them. We must teach them. </li></ul>Key Point
    11. 11. <ul><li>9. We must teach them that there are two sets of rules. </li></ul>Key Point
    12. 12. <ul><li>10. To move from poverty to middle class, one must give up (for a period of time) relationships for achievement. </li></ul>Key Point
    13. 13. <ul><li>11. Two things that help one move </li></ul><ul><li>out of poverty are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>relationships </li></ul></ul>Key Point
    14. 14. <ul><li>12. Four reasons one leaves poverty are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>too painful to stay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>vision or goal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>key relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>special talent/skill </li></ul></ul>Key Point
    15. 15. <ul><li>Financial </li></ul><ul><li>Having the money to purchase goods and services. </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional </li></ul><ul><li>Being able to choose and control emotional responses, particularly to negative situations, without engaging in self-destructive behavior. This is an internal resource and shows itself through stamina, perseverance, and choices . </li></ul><ul><li>Mental </li></ul><ul><li>Having the mental abilities and acquired skills (reading, writing, computing) to deal with daily life. </li></ul><ul><li>Spiritual </li></ul><ul><li>Believing in divine purpose and guidance. </li></ul><ul><li>Physical </li></ul><ul><li>Having physical health and mobility. </li></ul><ul><li>Support Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Having friends, family, and backup resources available to access in times of need. These are external resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships/Role Models </li></ul><ul><li>Having frequent access to adult(s) who are appropriate, who are nurturing to the child, and who do not engage in self-destructive behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of Hidden Rules </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing the unspoken cues and habits of a group. </li></ul>Resources
    16. 16. <ul><li>Distinguish among the different registers of language and assist students in the development of formal register. </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize story structure when working with certain students and parents. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand mediation and cognitive strategies. </li></ul>Objectives for Module 3:
    17. 17. Registers of Language
    18. 18. Source : Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children (1995), by Betty Hart & Todd R. Risley Research about language in children from ages 1 to 3 years from stable households by economic group. Number of words exposed to Economic group Affirmations (strokes) Prohibitions (discounts) 10 million words Welfare 1 for every 2 20 million words Working class 2 for every 1 30 million words Professional 5 for every 1
    19. 19. <ul><li>LANGUAGE AND STORY </li></ul><ul><li>1. When students speak in casual register, have them say it two other ways in formal register. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Give information to parents and students in story form. </li></ul>What can you do in the classroom?
    21. 21. It is possible to have a brain and not have a mind. A brain is inherited; a mind is developed. – Attributed to Reuven Feuerstein
    22. 22. To survive in poverty, one must rely upon non-verbal, sensory, and reactive skills. To survive in school, one must use verbal, abstract, and proactive skills.
    23. 23. If an individual depends upon a random episodic story structure for memory patterns, lives in an unpredictable environment, and HAS NOT DEVELOPED THE ABILITY TO PLAN , then ... If an individual cannot plan, he/she CANNOT PREDICT. If an individual cannot predict, he/she CANNOT IDENTIFY CAUSE AND EFFECT. If an individual cannot identify cause and effect, he/she CANNOT IDENTIFY CONSEQUENCE. If an individual cannot identify consequence, he/she CANNOT CONTROL IMPULSIVITY. If an individual cannot control impulsivity, he/she HAS AN INCLINATION TOWARD CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR.
    24. 24. End Day One