Poor Parents Must Educate Their Children

4341 words - 18 pages

A child does not show up for school for the third day in a row and the teacher notices that a pattern of absences has appeared. Is it the child’s fault? The parents’ fault? Can the school do something to stop this trend? There is a definite association between the parents of a child in poverty and the education that child does (or does not) receive, and there are many factors that play into this connection: intimidation the parents feel, expectations put on the child, parent employment, location and condition of the school, and health issues. Unfortunately, all of these issues mean that children in poverty are on an unequal plane when it comes to education, compared to children in higher ...view middle of the document...

This is one reason why parents are reluctant to get involved in reading programs, the Parent Teacher Association, and other extra-curricular activities. In order to distance themselves from the feeling of inferiority, parents distance themselves from their children’s schools.
In addition to being physically distant from the place their children receive their education, parents of children in poverty may not breach the topic verbally. Parental encouragement may not be present in a child’s life because his or her parents have minimal expectations of him or her. If the parents have not achieved much based on their own standards, and/or the standards of others, then they may expect their children to follow on similar paths and are not anticipating great successes from them. The parents see their children as not having the ability to perform great accomplishments. This idea applies to teachers as well. Teachers do not always expect equal performances from every student. They might believe that a student that comes from a family with a higher income will learn more and be more successful in school, and this might show. Kids can tell from tone of voice and body language2 whether or not a teacher or parent expects great things from them, and the students usually live up to whatever expectations are put on them. “It has long been understood that expectations influence achievement. When teachers and parents believe that a child will do well, the child usually does better than when he is thought to be incapable.”3
People need to look at what can be done in order to stop the lack of achievement due to living up to low expectations. The first thing a teacher can do is to not stereotype the poor children and label them as being less capable than the other students in the class. Teachers should also observe the strengths of the students and focus on those. It has been argued that teachers should use “culturally responsive teaching,” which includes: acknowledging the legitimacy of the cultural heritages of different ethnic groups as content to be taught in the formal curriculum; bridging home and school experiences; finding meaningful connections between academic abstractions and lived sociocultural realities; using a variety of instructional strategies aligned with student learning styles; and incorporating multicultural information, resources, and materials in all the subjects and skills routinely taught in schools.4 To acknowledge cultural heritages and incorporate multicultural information, the teachers would benefit from getting to know more about their students’ personal lives and backgrounds. Also, in order to bridge home and school experiences, the teachers would need to work on getting the parents more involved and help them overcome the feeling of intimidation mentioned above. Education in this aspect needs to be a team effort because parents would also have to assist teachers by helping them figure out the students’ learning styles.
Besides not...

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