Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty

Reaching and Teaching Students in PovertyGorski (integrative studies, George Mason U.) describes how teachers and school leaders can create and sustain equitable learning environments for poor and working class students. He asks educators to consider their assumptions about what it means to be poor in contemporary society and its schools, and move toward a more empathetic and holistic understanding of the effects of poverty and class bias on the school experiences of these students. He uses Katy Swalwell’s equity literacy approach and describes how it builds on and differs from other frameworks for poverty and schooling, especially how it focuses on equity instead of culture. He discusses basic information about class and poverty in the US; why the “culture of poverty” approach does not work; common myths about poverty; forms of inequity and bias for low-income families outside of school and how they affect educational outcomes, such as access to healthcare and childcare; how students in poverty are denied learning opportunities that wealthier peers have; ineffective and effective strategies; how to build sustainable relationships with, rather than working on, families in poverty; and broader efforts for equity in and outside of classrooms. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

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