Introduction I. Some key points to remember A. Poverty is relative B. Poverty occurs in all races and in all countries C. Economic class is a continuous line, not a clear-cut distinction D. Generational poverty and situation poverty are different 1. Generational poverty: Being in poverty for two generations or longer 2. Situational poverty: A shorter time and caused by circumstance a) Ex: Death, illness, divorce, etc. E. This work is based on patterns. All patterns have exceptions F. An individual brings with him/her the hidden rules of the class in which he/she was raised G. Schools and business operate from middle-class norms and use the hidden rules of middle class H. For our students to be successful, we must understand their hidden rules and teach them the rules that will make them successful at school and at work I. We can neither excused students nor scold them for not knowing; as educators we must teach them and provide support, insistence, and expectations J. To move from poverty to middle class or middle class to wealth, an individual must give up relationships for achievement (at least for some period of time) K. Two things that help one move out of poverty are education and relationships L. Four reasons one leaves poverty are: (1) Its too painful to stay, (2) a vision or goal, (3) a key relationship, or (4) a special talent or skill II. Some statistics about poverty A. Poverty is caused by interrelated factors: parental employment status and earnings, family structure, and parental education B. The United States? child poverty rate is substantially higher ? often two or three times higher ? than that of most other major Western industrialized nations Chapter 1: Definitions and Resources I. Poverty: The extent to which and individual does without resources A. These resources are the following: 1. Financial: Having the money to purchase goods and services a) Typically poverty is thought of in terms of financial resources only b) Although financial resources are extremely important, they do not explain the differences in the success with which individuals leave poverty nor the reasons that many stay in poverty 2. Emotional: Being able to choose and control emotional responses, particularly to negative situations, without engaging in self-destructive behavior a) This is an internal resource and shows itself through stamina, perseverance, and choices b) Emotional resources provide the stamina to withstand difficult and uncomfortable emotional situations and feelings c) THE MOST IMPORTANT of all resources because they allow the individual not to return to old habit patterns 3. Mental: Having the mental abilities and acquires skills (reading, writing, computing) to deal with daily life a) Simply being able to process information and use it in daily living 4. Spiritual: Believing in divine purpose and guidance a) Individual does not see him/herself and hopeless and useless, but rate as capable and having worth and value 5. Physical: Having physical health and mobility 6. Support systems: Having friends, family, and backup resources available to access in times of need a) These are external resources 7. Relationships/Role models: Having frequent access to adult(s) who are appropriate, who are nurturing to the child, and who do not engage in self-destructive behavior a) It is largely from role models that the person learns how to live life emotionally 8. Knowledge of hidden rules: Knowing the unspoken cues and habits of a group Chapter 2: The Role of Language and Story - Three aspects of language: (1) registers of language, discourse patterns, and story structure I. Registers of Language A. Every language in the world has five registers 1. Frozen: Language that is always the same a) Ex: Lord?s Prayer, wedding vows, etc. 2. Formal: The standard sentence syntax and word of choice of work and school. Has complete sentences and specific word choice 3. Consultative: Formal register when used in conversation a) Discourse pattern not quite as direct as formal register 4. Casual: Language between friends and is characterized by a 400- to 800-word vocabulary. Word choice general and not specific. Conversation dependent upon non-verbal assists. Sentence syntax often incomplete 5. Intimate: Language between lovers or twins. Language of sexual harassment II. Discourse Patterns A. Two different meanings of discourse: 1. Discourse Patterns in Formal and Casual Register a) The first meaning is the manner in which the information is organized 1. In the formal register of English, the pattern is to get straight to the point 2. In casual register, the pattern is to go around and around and finally get to the point 2. Language Acquisition in Primary and Secondary Discourse a) The other meaning associated with discourse is the notion of primary and secondary discourse issues 1. Primary discourse: The language an individual first acquired 2. Secondary discourse: The language of the larger society that the individual must be able to use to function in the larger society B. Ramifications 1. Acquisition vs. Learning a) Acquisition: The best and most natural way to learn a language and is simply the immersion in, and constant interaction with, that language b) Learning: The direct-teaching of a language and usually is at a more metacognitive level c) Acquisition of language only occurs when there is a significant relationship C. Patterns of Discourse 1. Discourse: The organizational patterns of information 2. Formal-register discourse pattern: Speaker or writer gets straight to the point (() 3. Casual-register discourse pattern: Writer or speaker goes around the issue before finally coming to the point (O) D. Story Structure 1. Formal-register story structure: The formal-register story structures starts at the beginning of the story and goes to the end in a chronological or accepted narrative pattern. The most important part of the story is the plot 2. Causal-register story structure: Begins with the end of the story first of the part with the greatest emotional intensity. The story is told in vignettes, with audience participation in between. The story ends with a comment about the character and his/her value. The most important part of the story is the characterization. 3. Cinderella a) Formal-Register Version 1. The actual story with no dialogue, and straight to the point 2. Has sequence, order, cause and effect, and a conclusion: all skills necessary for problem-solving, inference, etc. b) Casual-Register Version 1. Dialogue, more entertaining, more participatory and exhibits a richness of character, humor, and feeling 4. Cognitive studies indicate that story structure is a way that the brain stores memories E. What Can Schools Do to Address Casual Register, Discourse Patterns, and Story Structure? 1. Have students write in casual register, then translate into formal register 2. Establish as part of a discipline plan a requirement that students learn how to express their displeasure in formal register and therefore not be reprimanded 3. Use graphic organizers to show patterns of discourse 4. Encourage participation in the writing and telling of stories F. What Does This Information Mean in the School or Work Setting? 1. Formal register needs to be directly taught 2. Causal register needs to be recognized as the primary discourse for many students 3. Discourse patterns need to be directly taught 4. Both story structures need to be used as a part of classroom instruction 5. Discipline that occurs when a student uses the inappropriate register should be a time for instruction in the appropriate register 6. Students need to be told how much the formal register affects their ability to get a well-paying job III. Hidden Rules Among Classes A. Introduction 1. Hidden rules: The unspoken cues and habits of a group B. Some of The Major Hidden rules among the classes of Poverty, Middle class, and Wealth Poverty Middle Class Wealth Possessions People Things One-of-a-kind objects, legacies, pedigrees Money To be used, spent To be managed To be conserved, invested Personality Is for entertainment. Sense of humor is highly valued Is for acquisition and stability. Achievement is highly valued. Is for connections. Financial, political, social connections are highly valued. Social Emphasis Social inclusion of people he/she likes Emphasis on self-governance and self-sufficiency Emphasis on social exclusion Food Key question: Did you have enough? Quantity important Key question: Did you like it? Quality important Key question: Was it presented well? Presentation important Time Present most important. Decisions made for moment based on feelings or survival Future most important. Decisions made against future ramifications Traditions and history most important. Decisions made partially on basis of tradition and decorum Language Casual register. Language is about survival Formal register. Language is about negotiation Formal register. Language is about networking 1. One of the biggest difficulties in getting out of poverty is managing money and just the general information base around money 2. One of the biggest differences among the classes is how ?the world? is defined for them a) Wealthy individuals view the international scene as their world b) Middle class tends to see the world in terms of a national picture c) Poverty sees the world in its immediate locale C. What Does This Information Mean in the School or Work Setting? 1. Assumptions made about individuals? intelligence and approaches to the school and/or work setting may relate more to their understanding of hidden rules 2. Students need to be taught the hidden rules of middle class ? not in denigration of their own but rather as another set of rules that can be used if they so choose 3. Many of the attitudes that students and parents bring with them are an integral part of their culture and belief systems. Middle-class solutions should not necessarily be imposed when other, more workable, solutions might be found 4. An understanding of the culture and values of poverty will lessen the anger and frustration that educators may periodically feel when dealing with these students and parents 5. Most of the students that the author has spoke with in poverty do not believe they are poor, even when they are on welfare. Most of the wealthy adults the author has spoke with do not believe they are wealth; they will usually cite someone who has more than they do IV. Characteristics of Generational Poverty A. Introduction 1. One of the key indicators of whether it is generational or situational poverty is the prevailing attitude a) The attitude in generational poverty is that society owes one a living b) The attitude in situational poverty is often one of pride and a refusal to accept charity B. Case Study 1. In generational poverty, there is matriarchal structure, where the mother has the most powerful position in the society if she functions as a caretaker C. Family Patterns in Generational Poverty 1. In the middle-class family, even with divorce, lineage is fairly easy to trace because of the legal documents a) Diagram of Middle- Class family 1. Lineage is traceable and a linear pattern can be found 2. In generational poverty, many marital arrangements are common-law a) Diagram of Family from Generational Poverty 1. Mother is the center of the organization, and the family radiate from that center b) The basic pattern is the mother at the heart of things, with nearly everyone having multiple relationships, some legal and some not c) The most important keys to understanding the story are often the omissions d) Who children go to stay with after school, who stays with whom when there is trouble, and who is available to deal with school issues are dependent on the current alliances and relationships at that moment D. How These Characteristics Surface with Adults and Students From Poverty 1. Men socialized with men and women with women. Men tend to have two social outlets: bard and work. Women with children tend to stay at home and have only other female relatives as friends, unless they work outside the home. Mend tend to be loners in any other social setting and avoid those social settings. When a man and a woman are together, it is usually about a private relationship 2. A real man is ruggedly good-looking, is a lover, can physically fight, works hard, takes no crap 3. A real women takes care of her man by feeding him and down-playing his shortcomings E. How These Characteristics Surface at School 1. Are very disorganized, frequently lose papers, don?t have signatures, etc 2. Don?t do homework 3. Are physically aggressive 4. Like to entertain 5. Only do part of the assignment F. What Does This Information Mean in the School or Work Setting? 1. An education is the key to getting out of, and staying out of, generational poverty. Individuals leave poverty for one of four reasons: a goal or vision of something they want to be or have; a situation that is so painful that anything would be better; someone who ?sponsors? them; or a specific talent or ability that provides and opportunity for them 2. Being in poverty is rarely about a lack of intelligence or ability 3. Many individuals stay in poverty because they don?t know there is a choice ? and if they do know that, have no one to teach them hidden rules or provide resources 4. Schools are virtually the only places where students can learn the choices and rules of the middle class
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