Poverty and Education

PhD Ruby Payne describes the problem of poverty and says that it goes much deeper than the monetary problem. According to her theory poverty is a style of life, culture. Those people who are thought to be poor live in certain conditions and have to keep to some unspoken rules and traditions. The author describes it as a program which people get installed in their minds while being brought up by parents and surrounding society. It is psychologically proven that children are very likely to repeat behavior of their parents in the future that means automatic repetition of the destiny. It may sound scaring, but Payne mentions some terrible things. She believes in existence of "hidden rules of poverty".

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Her idea is to have teachers who, basically, represent middle class to share their life experience with students belonging to a lower class. She regrets that not all teachers can understand the problem, because they are not aware of "hidden rules of poverty". All pupils got treated equally. This is incorrect according to her theory. There has to be another way of communication with children from poor families. In 2001 she publishes her work Framework for Understanding Poverty, which becomes extremely popular in many district schools. It also gets criticized by other specialists, who blamed her for spreading classism, and unproven deficit-centered theories to explain the underachievement of youth in poverty (Gorski, 2006). There was also research information on racial differences which advised color students to take special courses in the less academically rigorous schools. Such kind of information should be carefully studied not to cause any future stereotype threat; which can result in law academic performance of students who may be found belonging to a lower class.

Ruby Payne gives a description of some interactive actions like divorces, and other family problems; and their influence on school life of youth. What makes specialists doubt in Payne’s poverty theory and low school credit ratings, is that families from other classes experience exactly the same social problems. The only difference between them is the amount of money they are able to spend. Of course, it may be depressing for some individuals but not enough to result in schools scoring.  The disagreement is clear. But when we talk about richness, there is a sense in her words about wrong way of thinking, which leads to repeating parents’ life style. Napoleon Hill said, “Think and grow rich”.

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