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.
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.
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).
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.