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Chapter #3 - Changes in American Society: Their Influences on Today's Students

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Katie Anderson

on 4 January 2013

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Transcript of Chapter #3 - Changes in American Society: Their Influences on Today's Students

Chapter #3 - Changes in American Society: Their Influences on Today's Students Changes in American Families Child Care Critics contend that young children need the presence of a mother in the home, and that child care isn't an adequate substitute Supporters counter that children readily adapt to different care patterns and learn valuable lessons from interacting with other children Children from low-income families are the least likely to have early childhood education programs such as nursery school and prekindergarten available to them Latchkey Children Children who return to empty houses after school and who are left alone until parents arrive from work are considered latchkey children This raises concerns about children's safety to questions of supervision, excessive time spent watching television, and lack of help with homework Some schools have after-hours offerings, but a more common solution is for schools to cooperate with community agencies, such as YMCAs or youth clubs. These programs teach children who to respond to home emergencies, use the phone to seek help, make healthful snacks, and spend time wisely The Influence of Socioeconomic Factors on Students Socioeconomic Status Socioeconomic status (SES) - The combination of family income, parents' occupations, and level of parental education Upper class - The socioeconomic class composed of highly educated (usually a college degree), highly paid (usually $175,000) professionals who make up about 5% of the population Middle class - The socioeconomic level composed of managers, administrators, and white-collar workers who perform non manual work Lower class - The socioeconomic level composed of people who typically make less than $25,000 per year, have a high school education or less, and work in low-paying, entry-level jobs Underclass - People with low incomes who continually struggle with economic problems Poverty Poverty thresholds - Household income levels that represent the lowest earnings required to meet basic living needs These levels are determined primarily by food costs and largely ignore other factors such as the cost of housing, transportation, and energy The Federal government addresses the problems of poverty through the National School Lunch Program - in 2008, children from a family of four with income below $27,650 a year were eligible for free breakfasts and lunches; families earning below $39,220 qualified for 30-cent breakfasts and 40-cent lunches Fewer than 6 of 10 families that qualify for free or reduced meals participate Teachers keep boxes of crackers, granola bars, and other snacks in their desks for students who come to school hungry Integration-by-income programs - These programs integrate students from different SES levels in a variety of ways such as creating magnet schools, using vouchers, and even busing Homelessness Homelessness is a direct result of poverty Homeless children often come from unstable families, suffer from inadequate diets, and lack medical care At least one fifth of homeless children fail to attend school regularly. These children are three times more likely to repeat a grade and four times more likely to drop out of school than other children Schools attempt to make school admission, attendance and course requirements flexible; they provide outreach services such as counselors, after-school programs, and financial aid for transportation; and school officials coordinate with other community agencies to ensure that basic needs, such as food and shelter, are met Socioeconomic Status and School Success Socioeconomic status consistently predicts a number of indicators of school success, including achievement test scores, grades, truancy, and dropout and suspension rates but has its most powerful influence at the lower income levels Many low-SES families lack adequate medical care and an increasing number of children come to school without proper nourishment. Poor nutrition can affect attention and memory and even lead to lower scores on intelligent tests In high-poverty schools, the school nurse often serves as a substitute for the family doctor because families in poverty don't have medical insurance and can't afford to seek medical help. It's hard to learn when your sick or hurting Children of poverty also relocate frequently. These frequent moves are stressful for students and a challenge for teachers attempting to develop caring relationships with them Family stability also influences learning and school success. Daily struggles and economic problems result in parental frustration and anger School-related experiences in the home influence students' learning as well. High-SES parents are more likely than their low-SES counterparts to provide their children with educational activities outside school. Interaction patterns in the home also influence learning. High-SES parents talk with their children more than lower-SES caregivers and this verbal give-and-take provides students with practice in developing their language skills High-SES parents are also more likely to treat their children as conversational partners, explain ideas and the cause of events encourage independent thinking, and emphasize individual responsiblity. Parental attitudes and values shape the way student's think about schools and learning. Reading materials are more common in high-SES homes. High-SES parents are more likely to encourage their children to graduate from high school and attend college. They also support their children's education by attending curricular and extracurricular activities Changes in Our Students Sexuality In 2007, nearly half of teens reported being sexually active by the end of high school, nearly 1 of 10 said they had sex before age 13, and more than 10% of 10th graders said they had four or more sex partners Teenage Pregnancy The United States has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and births in the Western industrialized world Eighty percent of teenage pregnanices are to unmarried teens, and slightly more than half of teenage mothers (57%) keep their babies Becoming teenage parents forces students to mature too quickly, diverting energy from their own development to the care of a baby Economics is also a problem; more than half of the households headed by teen mothers live in poverty Teen moms are more likely to drop out, develop poor work skills, and have limited employment opportunities. Because of inadequate prenatal care, the babies are often born prematurely or with health problems Mothers are encouraged to complete their education through home instruction, or porgrams in which mothers bring their babies to school and attend child-care and regular classes. Despite these efforts the majority of teen mothers drop out of school STD's & Sex Education Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDS) 1 of 4, or more than 3 million, teenage girls were infected with at elast one form of STD Almost half of teenagers report being sexually active, and some have several partners Only about half of sexually active teenage girls and about two thirds of teenage boys report using condoms, the only reliable defense, other than abstinence, against sexually transmitted diseases Sex Education Many school districts have implemented sex education, but because sex education is controversial, the form and content of instruction vary widely Polls suggest that most parents want schools to provide sex education for their children What are your views on sex education? Sexual Orientation and Identity The labels lesbian, gay, bisexual, and straight refer to a person's sexual orientation; transgender refers to sexual identity LGBT students are often rejected by both peers and society, leading to feelings of alientation and depression, to drug use, and to suicide rates considerbly higher than in the heterosexual population Discussions about sexual orientation and idtenity are controversial, with some believing that they're genetic and others attritbuting them to learning and choice Research suggests that LGBT students go through a three-phase sequence in their attempts to understand who they are sexually: The first is feeling different, a slowly developing awareness that they aren't like other children The second phase is a feeling of confusion, which occurs during adolescence. LGBT students attempt to understand their developing sexuality, looking for both social support and role models In the third phase, the majority of gay and lesbian teenagers reach a point where they accept their homosexuality and share it with those who are close to them. LGBT studetns are often subjected to harassment Sexual Harassment Sexual Harassment - Unwanted and/or unwelcome sexual-oriented behavior that interferes with a student's sense of well-being Affects both males and females, can also interfere with a student's learning and development Sexual comments, gestures, and looks, as well as touching and grabbing were most commonly cited Students report that harassment makes them feel "sad," "worthless," and "powerless." Harassment such as this contributes to the higher rates of depression, drug abuse, and suicide for LGBT students. Unfortunately, many school counselors and teachers feel unprepared to deal with these issues A Supreme Court ruling that holds school districts legally responsible in cases where sexual harassment is reported but not corrected is likely to make both teachers and administators more sensitive to this issue Use of Alcohol and Other Drugs What leads teenagers to alcohol and other drug use? Some blame the mixed messages teens receive from our culture as well as the media The media and particularly teenage pop culture, often glorify alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, implying not only that they're acceptable but that they are the preferred ways of dealing with problems such as stress, loneliness, or depression As teenagers become drug dependent, they place themselves at risk for other problems, such as poor health, car accidents, and even suicide Alcohol and drug abuse can also reinforce feelings of alientaion and encourage students to drop out of school Students who have little attachment to school and devalue its important are those most likely to use drugs during school hours Programs that teach students facts about drugs while helping them learn to make their own decisions and understand and avoid peer pressure. They also work to help develop self-esteem DARE programs which started in California and spread across the country is the best known of its kind Obesity In addition to immediate health risks such as high blood pressure and joint problems, overweight youth face rejection from their peers and the risk of developing into heavy adults with additional health problems, such as heart disease and Type II diabetes In response to these problems, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently approved the use of cholesterol-fighting drugs for chldren as young as 8 years old. The problem is especially acute for low-SES children living in poverty who often do not have access to affordable healthful food The causes of this epidemic are multifaceted and range from lack of exercise to just plain unhealthy diets Advertisers spend more than $10 billion a year marketing food and beverages to children, mostly for products not considered nutritious Elementary school recess has largely been eliminated, and the number of high school students taking P.E. declined Sugar-laden soft drinks sold in schools are also a problem. Beverage companies agreed to limit sales of sugar-laden soft drinks in schools. Companies would only sell water, unsweetened juice, and low-fat milk to elementary and middle schools and only diet sodas to high schools Crime and Violence Bullying A systematic or repetitious abuse of power between students Bullying is a major factor in many school shootings Both bullies and victims were more likely to carry a weapon, bring it to school, and become involved in serious fights People who bully take advantage of imbalances in power, such as greater size or strength, higher status, or the support of a peer group Bullying itself can be a face-to-face attack, threats, teasing about perceived sexual orientation, or refusing to let someone participate or play It can also include behind-the-back behaviors, such as spreading malicious rumors, writing harmful graffiti, or encouraging others to exclude a child Bullying is most prevalent at the middle school level Students are often hesitatnt to report bullying because they fear reprisals or don't want to appear weak or unable to solve their own social problems Schoolwide Safety Programs Designed to make schools safe havens for teaching and learning through comprehensive antiviolence and antibullying programs When an incident occurs, it is quickly identified and efused, and consequences are administered or perpetrators Many schools are adopting comprehensive security measures, such as having visitors sign in, closing campuses during lunch, and controlling access to school buildings Prevention policies Students are being warned to avoid jokes about violence Schools are also creating peer buddy systems and adult mentorship programs, and are teaching conflict-resolution skills Zero-tolerance policies - Policies that call for students to receive automatic suspensions or expulsions as punishment for certain offenses, primarily those involving weapons, threats, or drugs Cyber-Bullying Cyber-bullying - The use of electronic media to harass or intimidate other students Cyber-bullying follows the same patterns as traditional forms of bullying The anonymity of the internet distinguishes cyber-bullying from other types. This can make bullies even more insensitive to the hurtful nature of the bullying incidents Bullying is most commonly learned, with modeling and reinforcement by parents and peers playing major roles Bullies tend to come from homes where parents are authoritarian, hostile, and rejecting Bullies are often emotionally underdeveloped, and they're unable to understand or emphathize with others' perspectives or regulate their own behavior Suicide The third-leading cause of teen death Girls are twice as likely as boys to attempt suicide, but boys are 4 times mroe likely to succeed Boys tend to employ more lethal means, such as shooting themselves, whereas girls choose more survivable methods, such as overdosing on drugs Causes of teen suicide vary, but most are related to the stresses of adolescence Indicators of potential suicide include the following: An abrupt decline in the quality of school work
Withdrawal from friends or classroom and school activities
Neglect of personal appearance or radical changes in personality
Changes in eating or sleeping habits
Student comments about suicide as a solution to problems Child Abuse More than 60% of abuse victims suffer from neglect, about 1/5 experience physical abuse, and about 10% are sexually abused When sexual abuse occurs, it most commonly involves a family member or friend Child abuse can occur at any level of society, but it tends to be associated with poverty and is often linked to parental substance abuse Symptoms of abuse: Neglected appearance
Sudden changes in either academic or social behavior
Disruptive or overcompliant behavior
Repeated injuries such as bruises, welts, or burns Teachers in all 50 states are legally bound to report suspected child abuse At-Risk Students The Dropout Problem At-Risk Students - Students in danger of failing to complete their education with the skills necessary to survive in modern society Dropout rates vary dramatically by ethnicity Dropout rates are strongly affected by poverty; students from low-income families are 6 times more likely to drop out than those from high-income families Other factors include unstable families, high rates of student mobility, previous retention in a grade, as well as higher graduation standards and high school exit exams Motivation is a major factor in dropping out and can be addressed with effective instruction Make it a point to learn about your students and their families, and share information about your own life. Working With At-Risk Students Full-service schools: Schools that serve as family resource centers to provide a range of social and health services Full-service schools attempt to create a safety net of services to students and their families One example of the full-service model is The School Development Program - integrates schools and the community by bringing principals, teachers, and parents together in school planning and management teams School services, such as counseling and support for students with learning problems, are coordinated through teams of psychologists, counselors, and speical educatros. Comprehensive school programs coordinate services and focus on the child's physical, social, emotional, and academic growth in integrated efforts The teacher's role in a full-service school changes from one of instructor to partner with the community Promoting Student Resilience Resilient students: At-risk students who have been able to rise above adverse conditions to succeed in school and in other aspects of life Resilient children have well-developed "self-systems," including high self-esteem and feelings that they are in control of their destinies. They set personal goals, posses good interpersonal skills, and have positive expectations for success. They are motivated to learn and are satisfied with school Posess relationships with caring adults who hold high moral and academic expectations for them They come from schools that are moth demanding and supportive; in many instances, schools serve as homes away from home Effective Schools for At-Risk Students Focus on personal responsibility, cooperation, and mutual respect between teachers and students
A safe, orderly school climate in which students understand the meaning behind and the purpose of school and classroom rules
Academic objectives focusing on mastery of content
Cooperation, a sense of community, and prosocial values
Student responsibility and self-regulation with decreased emphasis on external controls
Strong parental involvement
Caring and demanding teachers who hold high expectations for all students Effective Teachers for At-Risk Students Teachers in these schools are simultaneously caring and demanding
They are the caring adults who hold high moral and academic expectations for students. They refuse to let students fail
The needs and personal sensitivities of at-risk students make them vulnerable to failure, personal slights, hints of favoritism, and questions about the relevenace of school.
Teachers who are ineffective with at-risk students are more authoritarian and less accessible. They distance themselves from students and place primary responsibility for learning on them. They view being emotionally supportive as "babysitting students" or "holding students' hands." Lecture is a common teaching strategy, and motivation is the students' responsibility. Students perceive these teachers as adversaries, to be avoided if possible, tolerated if not. Effective Instruction and Support Teachers of at-risk students systematically apply the strategies that are effective with all students
They provide enough instructional support to ensure success while teaching students active learning strategies that allow them to take control of their own learning
Effective practices for teaching at-risk students include the following:
High classroom structure with predicatble routines
Clear learning objectives
High levels of interaction between the teachers and students
Frequent and thorough asessment
Informative feedback to promote student success
Emphasis on student responsibility
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