Thursday, December 8, 2016

Discussion Notes from 11/30/16: Teaching with Poverty In Mind by Eric Jensen

The ECV PD Book Club had a great discussion last week around the ideas presented in Jensen's text. Some of what we discussed include:

  • Long term poverty has a significant impact on the brain's development. Living with the chronic stress of poverty causes the over-development of the amygdala (emotions, fight/flight/freeze) and the underdevelopment of the frontal cortex (long term planning, behavior regulation). 
  • There are only SIX hardwired emotions: sadness, joy, disgust, anger, surprise, fear (anyone ever see Inside Out?). Everything else (humility, empathy, optimism, patience, cooperation) needs to be taught!
  • Having high expectations for the academic capacity of all students, especially students living in poverty. Often, the behaviors students living in poverty present lead teachers to believe that they are apathetic or that they don't care about their future, when in reality we are only seeing symptoms of what happens to an individual living with the chronic stress of long term poverty.
  • Many examples were in the text showing schools experiencing success working with a high poverty student population. Those schools shared the fact that they had a plan (like our SPSA) and a staff who knew the plan, believed in the plan, and worked to implement it.
We also shared personal stories and examples from our teaching careers that applied to what we learned from the book. Please share your insights below so we can continue the discussion!

Thank you,

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for reading! Please post your thoughts on the ideas in the text.