Drew Perkins talks with author Eric Jensen about his book, Poor Students, Rich Teaching: Mindsets for Change (Raising Achievement for Youth at Risk) and how he believes teachers can change their mindsets to help students of poverty move to the middle or upper class.
Contrary to popular belief, DNA is not a child’s destiny. IQ is not fixed. Cognitive skills can change. This is critically important in K-12 schools because of the poverty gap — the difference between a child’s chronological age and developmental age.
In a healthy environment, a child’s developmental age will match his or her chronological age. In a high-risk environment, research shows that while a child’s chronological age is 5 years old, his or her developmental age is closer to 3 years old. This has a huge impact on school readiness and performance.
Today, 51 percent of all students in U.S. public schools are poor. Our public education system is designed to help students achieve a year of academic growth in a school year. For economically disadvantaged children, that’s a problem. (more…)
You may not know this man’s name, yet you see the results of his work all the time. His work shows up when you go through a TSA security line at the airport. His work shows up in the movie you loved watching (“Inside Out” by Disney/Pixar) and his work shows up in the classroom where you can get an insight into student behaviors. He has influenced the Dali Lama and met with him many times.
The one researcher you should know about is…
The one researcher you should know about is Dr. Paul Ekman. Why?
In the classroom, teachers often get upset with a student’s behavior. Inappropriate behaviors will likely puzzle, frustrate, or irritate teachers who have less experience teaching students raised differently than themselves. Still, it’s important to avoid labeling, demeaning, or blaming students. Truth is, many students simply do NOT know HOW to behave. (more…)
Keynote Speaker Eric Jensen’s message focused on facilitating change within schools and helping the most vulnerable population-students living in poverty- succeed. “My message to teachers is you have far more influence than you think you do, and working with students from poverty can actually be meaningful and even joyful once you have the skillset that can make it all happen,” Jensen said.
“Kids really learn when you bring it to life for them,” Craps said. “We spend so much time teaching the outside world from the inside and being immersed in it for 9 days really helped me realize that I need to take my students outside into the natural world to let them learn about what`s out there, and to explore and let them be curious.”
1,200 staff members attended the conference over a two-day period in early August.
Reprinted from http://www.educationdive.com
U.S. Secretary of Education John King’s voice wavered slightly during the July 27 conference call, as he recounted his personal battles with poverty and homelessness.
“I know schools can save lives, because schools saved mine,” King said. “Public school teachers gave me a sense of hope, created an environment that was structured and supportive. I understand school can be the difference as a safe and supportive place for students facing homelessness.”
King was addressing members of the media about new proposed policies under the Every Student Succeeds Act, which will support mandated local liaisons in school districts to help identify and offer resources to students who classify as homeless. They will also help to clarify the unique needs of the rising homeless student population, which includes more than 1.3 million children throughout the country. More than half of the nation’s public school children were low-income in 2013.
He also indicated that the Obama Administration has committed increases in funding to support programming support for homeless students — about $85 million for the next academic year. But many wonder if the federal government’s support will be enough to solve the growing crisis, with far reaching impact on educational service delivery and performance metrics.
Social justice outside of education typically incorporates public views on inequalities in housing, income, and criminal justice administration. But for the children growing up in environments where these challenges impact their daily lives, the learning outcomes typically create another vicious cycle of divesting — through suspensions, expulsions and negative classroom experiences.
“A large number of students coming to school from poverty live in a chronic state of stress, with symptoms mimicking those of ADHD,” said Eric Jensen, an author and researcher who has consulted with secondary systems nationwide on strategies to educate students from impoverished communities. “So they get labeled as discipline problems, when really, they are living under chronic stress.”
Jensen said to combat the impact of poverty in the classroom, teachers should have way more empathy before judging students’ ability and work to avoid judging students altogether.”That’s easier said than done, but teachers must understand kids don’t choose parents, neighborhoods, DNA. So when they are being impulsive, challenging authority — these are symptoms that have been in literature for more than 30 years,” he said.
Biochemically, Jensen said, elevated levels of cortisol can destroy brain cells. This change creates risk factors for depression, anxiety and anger, all which can be enhanced by environmental factors like unhealthy living conditions, violence or drug abuse in the home.
These factors can limit exposure to complex language, listening and responding, and slows the brain’s capacity to handle processing, like rapid speaking.
To solve the issues, Jensen recommends schools emphasize relationship building and cultures of respect and encouragement for students. While it is a difficult proposition to ensure quality teachers at every level throughout a secondary career, Jensen said that five years of holistic learning and accounting for the effects of poverty, can all but eliminate their impact.
“It is a long-term process because what counts is how many minutes per day are they in a metabolic state. If I can keep them confident for five to six hours a day, then life is good. Five years in a row of above average teaching, and you can reduce the stressors among students and teachers that begin to make way for cognitive development and essential learning skills.”
Sometimes readers like you (or I) TRY SO HARD to make changes, then, something simple comes along that seems to make it appear to be so much easier.
Whether you attended my June or July sessions this summer, or ANY other professional development in the last two months, this article is for you. This issue speaks to the power of one or two persons who can make an amazing difference in a school. Yes, that’s all it took to start good things at this high poverty school.
You want to know WHAT they did and HOW they did it? (more…)
Article from Scientific Learning
If you have a student who simply doesn’t respond well to your directions, listen up.
The student may have weak working memory, a skill that cognition experts say we should be increasingly concerned about because it’s a leading predictor of poor academic success. Eric Jensen, Ph.D., an educator, author and human development specialist who studies brain cognition, says students who appear not to be trying hard enough may see dramatic improvement when we focus on cognitive skills.
Educators, he says, can actually improve cognitive capacity, specifically, working memory and even IQ by using relevant teaching strategies. “DNA is not your destiny”, he adds, saying that students from poverty do not need to repeat their parents’ lack of educational success. (more…)
Can mindsets be changed? This post explores what initiates and changes our mindsets. But first, do you know anyone whose mindset you would like to change? I will bet you do! I have three solutions for you… (more…)
In Eric Jensen’s latest book, you’ll discover practical and research-based strategies to ensure all students, regardless of circumstance, are college and career ready. This thorough resource details the necessary but difficult work that teachers must do to establish the foundational changes essential to positively impact students in poverty. Organized tools and resources are provided to help teachers effectively implement these essential changes.
In teaching, you have to believe that every single student can improve a great deal and that you’re willing and able to make it happen. You have to believe that you are the biggest difference maker in each student’s life.” —Poor Students, Rich Teaching
Education reform has been a hot topic in recent years, and leaders across the political spectrum have championed measures such as increased testing and results-based evaluation of teachers and school districts. But one of the most pervasive problems affecting public schools is rarely discussed as an education issue at all. With the recent news that a majority of K-12 students in the Southern and Western United States now live in low-income households, it is time to take a serious look at how poverty affects education.
For Poverty Awareness Month, Scientific Learning has compiled facts about poverty… Here are 10 surprising facts you may not know about poverty and its impact on children in our schools: Click here to read more.