Poverty and Its Effects on School Age Children Term Paper

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Poverty Issues in Education: Effects on School-Age Children

Poverty and its effects on school age children

Poverty Issues in Education

Effects on School-Age Children

The child who lives in poverty experiences both challenges and barriers that other children who are not in these 'at risk' will never face. Presently there are number of young children in the U.S. that are growing up in families living in poverty or near poverty (44%). The term 'at-risk' is a reference to children who are "likely to fail in school or in life because of their life's social circumstances." Stated in the work of Pellino (2005) is that, "It does not appear that any one single factor places a child at-risk. Rather, when more than one factor is present, there is a compounding effect and the likelihood for failure increases significantly. (Pellino, 2005) Academic and behavioral problems can be indicators of impending failure. Among such behaviors are: delay in language development, delay in reading development, aggression, violence, social withdrawal, substance abuse, irregular attendance, and depression. The awareness of social and economic differences in status comes at an age younger than one would imagine and as these children grow aware of their personal status and that of their peers the children develop attitudes in relation to these awareness. Teachers are in a unique position to help these children in their development of care and sensitivity where other cultures and social classes are concerned by centering activities and lessons around the educational development of cultural awareness and through nurturing an attitude of respect for instead of stigmatization of the unique differences among the children in view of race, culture, ethnicity, and socially as well

Poverty Issues in Education

Effects on School-Age Children

Statement of Thesis

The purpose of this work is research and state the effects which poverty has on school-age children in terms of the educational challenges for both the teacher and the student.

Introduction

Poverty is an issue, which is a challenge for both the teacher and the student who lives in poverty. Poverty is an issue that more children are destined to face as the poverty class grows both in the United States and abroad. The child who lives in poverty experiences both challenges and barriers that other children who are not in these 'at risk' will never face. Presently there are number of young children in the U.S. that are growing up in families living in poverty or near poverty (44%).

The term 'at-risk' is a reference to children who are "likely to fail in school or in life because of their life's social circumstances." Stated in the work of Pellino (2005) is that, "It does not appear that any one single factor places a child at-risk. Rather, when more than one factor is present, there is a compounding effect and the likelihood for failure increases significantly. (Pellino, 2005)

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand the effects of poverty upon the educational attainment and ability through literature review as well as direct observation of students.

Findings

Findings of this study reveal that children in poverty are subject to detrimental effects upon their learning abilities from the experience of poverty however the shorter the duration the less the long-term effects on the child.

Review of Literature

'At- Risk" Characteristics, Problems and Developmental Problems:

Pellino (2005 states that, "Academic and behavioral problems can be indicators of impending failure. Among such behaviors are: delay in language development, delay in reading development, aggression, violence, social withdrawal, substance abuse, irregular attendance, and depression. Teachers may have difficulty reaching a student's parent or guardian. They may also find the student does not complete assignments, does not study for tests, or does not come to school prepared to learn because of poverty related circumstances in the home environment. These children may be unable to concentrate or focus. They may be unwilling or unable to interact with peers and/or adults in school in an effective manner. These issues not only have an impact on the learning of the child of poverty but can also impact the learning of other children." The child who has parents who did not complete high school is more likely to be a child of poverty. Statistics also show that low-income levels are a predictor of low-grades in school. It is very critical to note that the teacher's job is challenging as never before and how much more so with these children. Another problem in the lives of these children is their "high-mobility" (Pellino, 2005) as they often transfer out of one school and on to another. This unfortunate "mobility" is only the tip of the iceberg in relation to the problems and challenges that must be overcome in the education of children of poverty situations.

The awareness of social and economic differences in status comes at an age younger than one would imagine and as these children grow aware of their personal status and that of their peers the children develop attitudes in relation to this awareness. Teachers are in a unique position to help these children in their development of care and sensitivity where other cultures and social classes are concerned by centering activities and lessons around the educational development of cultural awareness and through nurturing an attitude of respect for instead of stigmatization of the unique differences among the children in view of race, culture, ethnicity, and socially as well. When children are between the ages of 7 to 12 years of age their perception is "less egocentric" tending to concentrate more on "internal characteristics or traits of people as opposed to external, observable social class differences." (Pellino, 2005) Although they do not concentrate on the same things as older children they do have the ability at this age to "recognize differences among groups."

According to Pellino (2005), "Taking into account a spiral curriculum, at earlier ages children can become acquainted with social class and other cultural differences. During the latter years, the topic can be revisited for deeper understanding. This is a great opportunity to include community service learning projects in the curriculum, such as volunteering as a class in a soup kitchen. Critically important is the teacher's realization of the fact that these activities should be followed with both group discussion and individual reflection to help children think critically about their experiences" (Chafel, 1997; Gomez, 2000 as cited by Pellino, 2005).

The difference in academic performance varies from class to class and group to group in view of ethnicity or racially as to income and is referred to as the achievement gap. (Pellino, 2005) The children of poverty situations are known to achieve at levels lower than students from homes that are middle and upper-class homes. Some of the primary influences on the achievement of a student's learning behaviors are:

(1) Home environment;

(2) Past experiences with education;

(3) Teacher attitude. (Pellino; 2005)

Pellino (2005) also states that it was proposed by Slavin (1998) that schools, "can have a powerful impact on the academic achievement and success of all children by viewing them as at-promise rather than at-risk and preparing them to reach their full potential." A program that is designed to "close the gaps" for children of poverty between theme and their peers started in 1965 as a part of what was termed the "War on Poverty," there is not much documented evidence in relation to lasting benefits of this program.

The paper entitled "Long-Term Effects of Head Start" (Garces, 2000) states that there exist four indicators which were examined in regards to economic and social success in adults. Findings reveal that a white individual's participation in Head Start was "associated with a significantly increased probability of completion of high school and attendance of college as well as elevated earnings in ones' early twenties. Furthermore, African-American males who attended Head Start are more likely than their siblings to have completed high school as well as those participating being less likely to be charge of a criminal offense. Temple et al. followed a group of CPC children until high schools'

Figure 1.0

The work entitled "Early Childhood Care and Education: Effects on Ethnic and racial Gaps in School Readiness" (Magnuson & Waldfogel, 2005) examines black, white and Hispanic children in relation to their different experiences in early childhood, specifically the care and education received and the links between those experiences and racial and ethnic gaps in school readiness. Children in attendance at centers or preschool programs are more ready to learn upon entrance into school. The study found that "black children are more likely to attend preschool than are white children." (Magnuson & Waldofgel, 2005)

A teacher that comprehends how the functions of the brain work is able to exert great influence in addressing the emotional and cognitive learning of students. This is includes physical learning process. It is well established in research that perceptions and emotions are connected to learning. Other findings are emotions have a connection to memory in that information is stored and recall triggered…[continue]

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