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How Poverty Affects Behavior and Academic Performance
Transcript of How Poverty Affects Behavior and Academic Performance
design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
Behavior=Genes and Environment
-DNA is responsible for 30-50% of behaviors.
-Environment=50-70% of behaviors
-This begins with in utero care of the first nine months of development (stress, prenatal care, toxins).
-Environment can affect receptors on cells, sending messages to various genes, and turning functions on and off.
Emotional & Social Challenges
Emotional & Social Challenges
-"The failure to form positive relationships with peers inflicts long-term socio-emotional consequences" (Szewczyk-Sokolowski, 2005).
-Students living in poverty develop maladaptive social functioning at a higher rate than their peers.
-Parents of these children were less likely to adapt parenting skills to meet the needs of their children.
1) The drive for reliable relationships.
2)The strengthening of peer socialization.
3)The quest for importance and social status (Jensen, 2009).
Strategies for successful academic performance include:
-Giving students the respect they deserve and in turn they will respect you.
-Social skills building activities (shaking hands when making introductions)
-Include all students in activities, be inclusive!
Acute & Chronic Stressors
-Stress is defined as the "psychological response to the perception of loss of control resulting from an adverse situation or person."
-Stressors refer to situations that inhibit homeostasis to take place. Ex. malnutrition, drug usage, neglect
-Acute stress is found in situations where trauma or abuse have been present.
-Chronic stress refers to stressors experienced over time.
-Poverty stricken students faced with chronic stressors see a change in brain development, academic performance, and social relationships such as coping skills.
-Our bodies are not equipped to handle prolonged periods of stressful interactions.
-Studies show that over exposure to chronic and acute stressors shrinks neurons located in the brain's frontal lobes (functions include making judgements, planning, and regulation of impulsive behavior) and can hinder mental processes responsible for the hippocampus, which will affect learning capacity.
Web of Social Relationships
Students Go to School
-Both social status and socialization contribute to the behavior of children.
-"The school socialization process pressures students to be like their peers or risk social rejection" (Jensen, 2009).
-Students learn to differentiate themselves through involvement in sport, arts, or street skills.
-These relationships are formed with the students' parents or primary caregivers.
-Students then build a
relationships perform greater in school than children with
-Children raised in poverty are faced with challenges that cause them to "undermine" good academic performance. We see several risk factors. (EACH)
-Emotional & Social Challenges
-Acute & Chronic Stressors
-Health & Safety Issues
**It is our responsibility to recognize these factors in order to aid these students.
-The relationships students create "exerts a much greater influence on their behavior than researchers had previously assumed" (Jensen, 2009).
Needs for Children Under the Age of Three:
-consistent love, guidance, and support from parents
-a safe environment
-10-20 hours a week of attunement and enrichment activities
-Children raised in poverty are not exposed to these emotional needs. As a result, they create new brain cells that are rewired differently from "healthy neutral circuitry" found in affluent children. This rewiring leads to "emotional dysfunction" (Jensen, 2009).
-Caregivers of children in poverty are often overworked, stressed, and use authoritarian discipline with their children. These principles do not create healthy developmental relationships for children.
-Children in poverty spend significantly less time playing outside and more time watching television. They are not found to be active in after-school activities.
Children raised in poverty exhibit these characteristics:
-Impatience & Impulsivity
-Gaps in politeness & socialization
-Limited range of social responses
-Less empathy toward others (pg. 19)
**Teachers need to teach their students' these emotions if they are not taught at home.
School Behavior & Performance
Chronic stress is responsible for:
-50% of school absences (Johnson-Brooks, 1998).
-Reduction in creativty, cognition, and concentration (Lupien, 2001)
-Impaired social skills & social judgement (Erickson, 2003)
-Reduction of motivation & determination (Johnson, 1981)
-Depression (Hammack, 2004)
-Reduction of neurogenesis (growth of new brain cells) (De Bellis et al., 2001)
-Children faced with chronic stressors have an increased sense of anxiety, detachment, and sense of helplessness.
-Students then become passive and give up in school performance (
What can we do for these children?
-Recognize the signs of learned helplessness in students
-Allow time for students to get homework done at the end of class
-teach conflict resolution coping strategies, provide problem solving opportunities for students to solve collaboratively
-Provide kinesthetic learning activities
-Socioeconomic status relates to children's various cognitive abilities such as IQ, achievement tests, grade retention rates, and literacy (Baydar, 1993).
-Everyone has an "operating system" interconnected throughout the brain. There are five systems:
-responsible for making plans, decisions, and thought processes.
Left Perisylvian/Language System
- engagement of temporal and frontal regions of the left hemisphere and is responsible for phonological awareness associated with language development. (We use this area of the brain when reading, pronouncing, writing, and spelling words.)
Medial Temporal/Memory System
- process responsible for learning spoken words, pictures, and text. The hippocampus and amygdala (emotional storehouse) are found here.
Parietal/Spatial Cognition System
-responsible for spatial interpretations between various objects ex. organization, sequencing, and visualization of information
Occipitotemporal/Visual Cognition System
- allows for the development of pattern recognition and visual mental imagery, transferring mental images into abstract objects and shape identification
-SES is responsible for more than 30% of differences in the left perisylvian/language system.
-Low income families tend to use "shorter, more grammatically simple sentences" therefore providing children with limited vocabulary intake as opposed to their peers.
-Studies show low SES students score 29% lower on IQ scores than affluent students.
-Low SES children earn below-average scores on reading, math, and science assessments. They tend to show poor writing processes as well.
-The human brain needs "coherent, novel, challenging input, or it will scale back its growth trajectory" (Jensen,2009).
What can we do for these children?
-Provide students with problem solving models and real-world case studies. Implement assessments, such as the Woodcock-Johnson III, or other reading diagnosic assessments to target lags in specific areas (vocabulary, vision or hearing problems, phonemic awareness, fluency). It is imperative to provide students with positive learning environments to foster hope and encouragement for learning.
Health & Safety Issues
-Cells are "under siege" in low SES children due to lack of nutrition and resources.
-As a result, children are less likely to concentrate, learn, and appropriately behave within the classroom.
-These children are often found in poor housing conditions and are exposed to toxins such as radon, carbon monoxide, and lead.
-Lead (found in peeling paint) has found to be a factor in lower IQ performance (Schwartz,1994).
-Other health conditions observed in children from low SES communities include asthma, respiratory infections, tuberculosis, ear infections, and obesity (Wang, 2006).
School Behavior & Performance
Health Factors Influence:
-School absences/duration of these absences
-Greater number of illnesses during class
-Undiagnosed/untreated health problems
**Students are not in class enough of the time to catch up with content.
What can we do for these students?
-We can provide resources to families such as physicians, available pharmacy for medications, dentist visits, tutors, and educating staff about health issues faced within the community.
-We can also provide models for building coping skills, challenging curriculum, exercise options, and pullout services for students in need.
Benefits of Academic Enrichment for Children from Poverty
-In Chapter 6, we read about connecting our students to real life situations. What are some real life situations you can present to your students and have them solve?
-What are some "framing" or "hook" activities that you use with your students to introduce a topic?
-Mr. Hawkins began his class by playing music to transition students into the subject. What transitional activities/strategies do you use with your students?
-One way to encourage collaboration between students is to place students in teams and have them compete for incentives. How do you create collaboration opportunities for your students?