Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do about It
In Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do About It, veteran educator and brain expert Eric Jensen takes an unflinching look at how poverty hurts children, families, and communities across the United States and demonstrates how schools can improve the academic achievement and life readiness of economically disadvantaged students.
Jensen argues that although chronic exposure to poverty can result in detrimental changes to the brain, the brain's very ability to adapt from experience means that poor children can also experience emotional, social, and academic success. A brain that is susceptible to adverse environmental effects is equally susceptible to the positive effects of rich, balanced learning environments and caring relationships that build students' resilience, self-esteem, and character.
Drawing from research, experience, and real school success stories, Teaching with Poverty in Mind reveals:
* What poverty is and how it affects students in school; * What drives change both at the macro level (within schools and districts) and at the micro level (inside a student's brain); * Effective strategies from those who have succeeded and ways to replicate those best practices at your own school; and * How to engage the resources necessary to make change happen.
Too often, we talk about change while maintaining a culture of excuses. We can do better. Although no magic bullet can offset the grave challenges faced daily by disadvantaged children, this timely resource shines a spotlight on what matters most, providing an inspiring and practical guide for enriching the minds and lives of all your students.
Fantastic, Comprehensive, Easy-to-Read Book
By LeAnn Nickelsen "M.Ed., Author, Educator, and... - January 28, 2010
Eric Jensen did it again - provided a fully-researched topic that educators need so desperately. Not only is the research relevant for our struggling schools today, but the strategies and action steps in every chapter are easy to apply. Once applied, teachers can really make a difference in a poverty-stricken student's life. So many students in poverty and their teachers have given up - whether because of cognitive lags or behavioral issues - it doesn't need to be this way. Embracing the Mind-Set of Change (Chapter 3) is my favorite chapter and one that all educators should be required to read. We educators are in the business of changing brains for the better. Poor children can experience academic, social and emotional success daily! Thank you Eric for the incredible strategies that can be incorporated easily and inexpensively in the classroom and school-wide.
In Chapter 4, Eric summarizes what high-poverty, high-achieving schools have in common. He synthesizes the... read more
Educators Must Read If You Teach Even a Single Child of Poverty
By Patty "Pattycake" - August 3, 2010
Brain research is somewhat new and fascinating. Eric Jenssen made it understandable for someone who has no interest nor aptitude in the sciences. As a person who grew up in poverty, I could relate to much of what he said. Because of this book, I am going to change the way I do some things in the classroom. I was running things in much too an authoritative style, but that's not surprising, considering I was brought up in an authoritative household. While the first couple of chapters are kind of depressing, because it tells of the deficits children of poverty will have, the hopeful parts come next. There are things we can do to help these kids be successful. I'm going to make a presentation to my principal about this book and I'm hoping we'll do a study on it. Too many of our staff members don't seem to know how to deal with these kids and tend to marginalize them. Times have changed and they can't continue to do this. I am going to be these children's advocate. I couldn't do that... read more
Fascinating for teachers who teach poor students
By C. Jones "c4jones" - January 24, 2011
As usual, Eric Jensen's book is incredibly thorough when it comes to describing the neauropsyiology of students who grow up in generational poverty. It's so fascinating to hear our these students' brains are literally rewired by poverty and it explains much about how difficult it is to encourage resiliance and set high standards of achievment. NCLB tells us all students need to reach high standards, but this book finally showed me why it is so much harder for some students than others. Where Jensen's books fall short is what to DO about it. This book made me question some of my teaching practices, but did little to "fill the void" with better practices. It did give examples from other schools, but in these short vignettes, it was hard to tell what they really did that was different.
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