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Essays by KT

"A Framework for Understanding Poverty" Paper

Affirming Diversity
Which Way Home
Mis experiencias con español
La figura de la madre
La redención
Manifestations of the Divine Brahma
The Six Models of the Church
Affirmative Action
A Friend Is
A persuadir
Aprovecha el día
Armas de fuego
Asperger's Disorder
ASDs: Autism
Black Friday
Book Intro
Big Boys Dont Cry?
Cancion del pirata
Cell Phones
Cathedral Within
Change the World
Child Care
Civil Society
Christian Family
Organ Donation
Deanne Bray
Drug Testing
Faith in Narnia
Fast Food?
Guns and Games
Grenz Review
The Odyssey
I Am
Jesus the Christ
Keep the Laws!
La ciencia
La inmigración
Louis Braille
Marriage Reflection
Mi lugar de refugio
My Life (Erikson)
My Special Place
Reflection -Marriage
Romance sonámbulo
Public-service values
Semana Santa
Spe Salvi
Teen Suicide
Un Santo legendario
Better World
The Four Loves
"Jesus Freak" Picture
Mona Lupe
Mother of Jesus
Holy Eucharist
Religión en Niebla
The U.S. Economy
Todo es regalo
Trip to NY ...
True Friends
Una lección
Unlikeliest Friends
Santo legendario
Vs. and Verses
What's the Diff?
Walsh Review
Means to be Human
Million dollars

CL 100

29 October 2008

            An understanding of poverty is needed in order to teach, communicate effectively with, and relate with those in poverty.  The same is true with those in wealth as well as those in the middle-class.  In order to relate to someone within a different socioeconomic class, we must first understand where they are coming from.  This is what Ruby K. Payne’s book “A Framework for Understanding Poverty” is about.

“Poverty is relative.” (p. 2) Wealth only exists based on the norm.  This book focuses mostly on where those who are in poverty, according to the middle-class, are coming from.  It gets the idea across, however, that people have a different way of viewing things; their socioeconomic status has a big influence on their way of thinking.

Poverty, as defined by Payne, is “the extent to which an individual does without resources” (p. 7).  Poverty is not just based on one’s finances.  In fact, “Poverty is more about other resources than it is about money” (p. 25).  These resources are, according to Payne, “emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, support systems, relationships/role models, and knowledge of hidden rules” (p. 7).

Emotional resources are internal resources.  They are shown through the choices one makes.  It looks at one’s ability to “choose and control emotional responses… without engaging in self-destructive behavior” (p. 7).  Emotional responses are the most important resources.  They help one to not return to their old patterns of life.

Mental resources include having skills such as reading and writing.  They include having the mental capacity and the skills, as well as being able to use those skills in everyday life.

Spiritual resources include “believing in divine purpose and guidance” (p. 7).  This is the belief that there is a power higher than oneself and that there is a higher purpose beyond their everyday tasks.  This is a great resource because it gives one hope and a sense of value. 

Physical resources consist of one’s “physical health and mobility” (p. 7).  This resource brings up the question of whether or not “the individual can be self-sufficient” (p. 8).

Support systems are external resources.  They are very important because it lets people know they are not alone when dealing with situations, and they do not have to do everything themselves.  Support systems provide one with a safety net, a place to go when in need.  These needs may include anything from financial help to help with homework.  They usually consist of friends and family.

Relationships/role models are resources that every individual has.  Not everyone though has positive ones.  Having positive role models are also important because it gives one, someone to look up to.  Having regular access to good role models is key in the nurturing of a child.  As D. James Comer says, “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.”

There are hidden rules in every socioeconomic class.  Knowledge of these rules is important in the understanding of, and the getting along within a class of different socioeconomic standing than oneself.

Payne’s book focuses a lot on how to help those in poverty to learn.  “Teaching is what occurs outside the head.  Learning is what occurs inside the head” (p. 88).  Just because the teacher is a generally good teacher, doesn’t mean every student is learning what is needed to be learned.  Each student learns differently.

I work with a very diverse group of children at the Potter’s House.  Sometimes it is very difficult to get them to listen and do as they are told.  Maybe knowing a bit more about where each kid is coming from may help me to communicate better with them.

I also plan on working with kids in the future.  I think people tend to listen better to someone who understands a bit about them.  It shows that the person cares enough about them to try to see where they are coming from.

It makes it much easier to create a civil society if there is an understanding among the people within the society.  People can work together more effectively when they understand a bit about where the other is coming from.  Poverty and wealth provide a community with more diversity.  This creates more social capital.

A great role model is, I believe, the most beneficial resource.  Most of the other resources may come, at least partially, from having a positive role model in one’s life.  “The other resources,” resources other than financial, “are those that educators can influence greatly.” (p. 25)

Every individual is a role model to someone.  It is that individual’s choice whether or not to be a positive role model.  Every action and reaction affects not only that individual, but someone else as well.

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