Read A Framework: Understanding & Working With Students & Adult from Poverty. by Ruby K. Payne Online


People in poverty face challenges virtually unknown to those in middle class or wealth--challenges from both obvious and hidden sources. The reality of being poor brings out a survival mentality, and turns attention away from opportunities taken for granted by everyone else. If you work with people from poverty, some understanding of how different their world is from yoursPeople in poverty face challenges virtually unknown to those in middle class or wealth--challenges from both obvious and hidden sources. The reality of being poor brings out a survival mentality, and turns attention away from opportunities taken for granted by everyone else. If you work with people from poverty, some understanding of how different their world is from yours will be invaluable. Whether you're an educator--or a social, health, or legal services professional--this breakthrough book gives you practical, real-world support and guidance to improve your effectiveness in working with people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Since 1995 A Framework for Understanding Poverty has guided hundreds of thousands of educators and other professionals through the pitfalls and barriers faced by all classes, especially the poor. Carefully researched and packed with charts, tables, and questionnaires, Framework not only documents the facts of poverty, it provides practical yet compassionate strategies for addressing its impact on people's lives....

Title : A Framework: Understanding & Working With Students & Adult from Poverty.
Author :
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ISBN : 9780964743748
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 216 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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A Framework: Understanding & Working With Students & Adult from Poverty. Reviews

  • Riku Sayuj
    2019-05-15 13:09

    Building High-Achieving SchoolsThe book is primarily directed at building a model for combating poverty by tackling them at the earliest level of perpetuation - in schools.Schools, Payne advocates, should be our first line of defense against encroaching poverty and also our most effective weapon to beat it back. Unlike most economic tools, schools can be fine-tuned and  deployed according to strict frameworks.The thrust is thus primarily on how to deal with poverty in schools and how to equip the students with tools and education to fight their way out of it.For this teachers have to understand what poverty is and the disadvantages that characterize poverty — these are usually classed as inherent problems of the students, instead they have to be reframed as disadvantages that are the duty of the teachers to correct in any decent school environment.The ‘Framework’ in the title is then a Framework for the Teachers.A Framework For TeachersPayne uses what he calls an ‘Additive Model’, implicit throughout this book, as a vital tool for better understanding and addressing poverty, as well as the underlying factors that perpetuate it.Some of the most important aspect of the Model are:1. Identifies the mindsets and patterns that individuals use to survive different economic environments-and provides a vocabulary to talk about it.2. Identifies strengths and resources already found in the individual, family, school, and community-and adds new information and a new perspective for creating and growing resources.3. Offers economic diversity as a prism through which individuals and schools can analyze and respond to their issues.4. Identifies skills, theories of change, program designs, partnerships, and ways of building schools where students achieve.5. Encourages the development of strategies to respond to all causes of poverty.Poverty & Its BaggagesAn individual brings with him/her the hidden rules of the class in which he/she was raised. Even though the income of the individual may rise significantly, many of the patterns of thought, social interaction, cognitive strategies, etc., remain with the individual.Schools and businesses operate from middle-class norms and use the hidden rules of middle class. These norms and hidden rules are not directly taught in schools or in businesses.For our students to be successful, we must understand their hidden rules and teach them the rules that will make them successful at school and at work. We can neither excuse students nor scold them for not knowing; as educators we must teach them and provide support, insistence, and expectations.Out of Poverty: A Resource-KitTo move from poverty to middle class or middle class to wealth, an individual must give up relationships for achievement (at least for some period of time). Two things that help one move out of poverty are:a. Education andb. Relationships.Leaving poverty could indeed be a conscious exercise. Four reasons one chooses to leave poverty are:1. It’s too painful to stay,2. A vision or goal,3. A key relationship, or4. A special talent or skill.Typically, poverty is thought of in terms of financial resources only. However, the reality is that financial resources, while extremely important, do not explain the differences in the success with which individuals leave poverty nor the reasons that many stay in poverty. The ability to leave poverty is more dependent upon other resources than it is upon financial resources. Each of these resources plays a vital role in the success of an individual:1. FINANCIAL: Having the money to purchase goods and services.2. EMOTIONAL: Being able to choose and control emotional responses, particularly to negative situations, without engaging in self-destructive behavior. This is an internal resource and shows itself through stamina, perseverance, and choices.3. MENTAL: Having the mental abilities and acquired skills (reading, writing, computing) to deal with daily life.4. SPIRITUAL: Believing in divine purpose and guidance.5. PHYSICAL: Having physical health and mobility.6. SUPPORT SYSTEMS: Having friends, family, and backup resources available to access in times of need. These are external resources.7. RELATIONSHIPS/ROLE MODELS: Having frequent access to adult(s) who are appropriate, who are nurturing to the child, and who do not engage in self-destructive behavior.8. KNOWLEDGE OF HIDDEN RULES: Knowing the unspoken cues and habits of a group.The education system should be able to equip the students with these vital resources.Knowledge Of Hidden RulesThis aspect might sound a bit esoteric and bears illumination with a couple of examples:1. The importance of Socially Accepted Language:All the state testsSAT, ACT, etc. are require an understanding of formal language (called ‘the formal register’). It is further complicated by the fact that to get a well-paying job, it is expected that one will be able to use formal register. Ability to use formal register is a hidden rule of the middle class. The inability to use it will knock one out of an interview in two or three minutes. The use of formal register, on the other hand, allows one to score well on tests and do well in school and higher education.This use of formal register is further complicated by the fact that these students do not have the vocabulary or the knowledge of sentence structure and syntax to use formal register. When student conversations in the casual register are observed, much of the meaning comes not from the word choices, but from the non-verbal assists. To be asked to communicate in writing without the non-verbal assists is an overwhelming and formidable task, which most of them try to avoid. It has very little meaning for them.Another aspect:Another version of this is noticeable in educated people from the lower segments of society: They often they turn out too formal in their language. And thus cant function so well in intimate/casual social settings, which are also essential for career progression.In a school setting this means that:• Formal register needs to be directly taught.• Casual register needs to be recognized as the primary discourse for many students.• Students need to be told how much the formal register affects their ability to get a well-paying job.• Students need to be told the importance of being adaptive in their registers.2. The importance of learning to Manage Money:One of the biggest difficulties in getting out of poverty is managing money and just the general information base around money. How can you manage something you've never had? Money is seen in poverty as an expression of personality and is used for entertainment and relationships. The notion of using money for security is truly grounded in the middle and wealthy classes.The above are only a couple of simple examples, the reality is much more complex and requires much greater effort from the educational system.Being in poverty is rarely about a lack of intelligence or ability. Many individuals stay in poverty because they don't know there is a choice-and if they do know that, have no one to teach them hidden rules or provide resources. Schools are virtually the only places where students can learn the choices and rules of the middle class.Teachers must recognize a larger role: as Motivators + Educators + Enablers, so must the school system and the governments.It is time we mobilized this important weapon in the fight against poverty.

  • Malbadeen
    2019-05-18 15:16

    updated review: WAIT!!!!! STOP!!!!!! IF YOU PURCHASED OR ARE CONSIDERING PURCHASING THIS BOOK YOU NEEDN'T DO IT. SAVE YOURSELF SOME TIME AND GOOGLE "MISEDUCATING TEACHERS ABOUT THE POOR: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF RUBY PAYNE'S CLAIMS ABOUT POVERTY" do you believe that ascribing to a middle class aesthetic is the pinnacle of existence? Do you believe that education is the best, most acceptable, most desired way to gain prominence in our society? Do you believe we should continue down this path? then hurray - here is a book for you!!!if you think people lacking financial resources automatically lack social awareness, couth, or skills that are worth notingthen hurray - you will love this book!!!!if you feel good when you understand a group of people based on a checklist of criteria and if you believe you can understand a person based on their place in this groupthen hurray - i have a "must read" for you!!!

  • Don
    2019-04-29 10:49

    Payne's book is a perfect example of what is wrong with the conservative approach to education. In this book, sold to districts all over the country, Payne peddles soft racism and discredited social theory, based on her anecdotal observations, rather than real research.It’s a pretty appealing formula: rather than address the root causes of poverty in this country or community, demonize the poor through condescension and disapproval rather than outright hostility. I had the misfortune of going to a professional development opportunity presented by one of Payne's lackeys. She chose exactly this approach, regaling our teachers with increasingly improbable stories about the sexual and economic (often linked) immorality of the poor, ostensibly to illustrate the need for more structured lesson plans to suit the poor. The poor, in Payne’s work, are “spiritually deficient,” and in desperate need of the values of the middle class.This argument is troubling on a number of levels, but most importantly, for how it essentializes the experience of poverty. For those who would fix education by fixing the value structure of the poor, poverty is not only inevitably marked by experience with substance abuse, laziness, crime, and sexual abuse; they are inherent characteristics. Valorizing the middle class as emblematic of virtue, these critics ignore a country that has a class independent problem with morality. To argue, in the country with the greatest wealth and greatest debt per person in the world, that the poor lack the structure to save money is an unbelievably simplistic and empirically incorrect argument.

  • Kristine
    2019-05-05 17:08

    This was required reading last year at one of my buildings. I would retitle it "Reinforcing Poverty, making stereotypes stick." I found it to be extremely troubling.

  • Natalie
    2019-04-29 15:12

    Full of generalizations, yes. Entirely wrong- no. The role of language and story; Hidden rules among classes & Characteristics of Generational Poverty are some of the better chapters. There ARE rules of behavior and language in the middle class (and other classes) and trying to function in a middle class atmosphere requires knowledge of these rules. This is not a judgment statement, just statement of fact; just as knowledge of French would be a requirement for success in France. The difference is that knowledge of middle class rules is generally valued whereas the knowledge of those in poverty is dismissed and devalued. I would say that a serious student of class and issues related to poverty in the U.S. would want to include this book in their reading, but would not want to rely on it for the reasons that other reviewers have stated. It is predominantly anecdotal and short on hard data. Nonetheless, it is a decent starting point for new teachers or social workers who may not have much exposure to the realities of low-income, urban areas and their students' lives at home.

  • Algernon
    2019-05-02 10:04

    This is a controversial book, to say the least, featuring some very broad generalizations about poverty that lend themselves to stereotypes that are unhelpful and de-politicizing. The unexamined will control us, and this book is about unexamined assumptions and the "hidden" social rules of each class that keep individuals pigeonholed and divided. It is ironic, then, that the author is accused by some of doing the pigeonholing and dividing. She is accused of racism, although what she seeks to demonstrate in her work is that certain social patterns - communication style, interaction, formative ideas about money and power, to name just a few dimensions - transcend racial identity. This would be an argument *against* racial discrimination. Yet detractors accuse her of keeping racial stereotypes in place, with no support to buttress the charge. (I suppose it is because one case study, based on real people, has an African-American name, and another a Hispanic name. Are there no African-Americans or Hispanics in poverty?)Her description of patterns is itself used by detractors to accuse her of stereotyping. Payne herself warns about stereotyping, which happens when one assumes there is no individual difference from a pattern. She identifies this fallacy herself. Patterns are simply trends, or overlapping behaviors by individual members of a particular group (such as, a class of people with similar access to resources and power). If we cannot address areas of overlap, how will it be possible to make any constructive critique of how society keeps people in their boxes? This would be a good question to consider for those who accuse Payne of some kind of conservative agenda. Whose interest does it serve when insights about the interaction of social classes gets shouted down? The answer is clear: dominating social institutions and privileged families. Finally, we might refresh our understanding of the book's stated objective. This is not a framework for healing class divisions, it is not a comprehensive sociological critique of society, and yes, it does leave aside the use of racism as a legitimating force for the process of social stratification. It does, all the same, offer some worthwhile reflections for beginning that critique and working towards a society based on justice, equality of opportunity, and personal liberty. How ironic that some would call that "conservative."

  • Bridget
    2019-04-30 11:51

    This book came highly recommended from various TFA types. It is horrible. it is full of subtly veiled stereotypes and essentialization, couched in psuedo-pyschology from someone who claims to understand the lives of people living in poverty because she married someone who grew up in poverty. I think this book could actually be really dangerous for the mindsets it reinforces while presenting itself as a compassionate, indispensible guide to working with certain populations.

  • Donnie
    2019-05-03 15:02

    There is some useful stuff in here, but there are some huge problematic things going on in this book. Primarily it's very classist. I also think its a dangerous book in the sense that if one allows oneself to read this book without a questioning mind, one may get sucked into the simple explanations the author offers. It's quite payneful how she explains poverty.

  • George
    2019-05-14 10:07

    I got Ms. Payne's book based on some interesting excerpts that someone posted online. The excerpts had to do with the different types of speech and how they influence learning and even ways of thinking. The poster quoted some sections from the book which assert that the differences in speech between the general classes of poverty, middle class and wealth have much more impact on the brain than most people realize. This intrigued me. The book is targeted at school administrators and employers, but I think a lot of people could benefit from reading it.Framework, starts out by re-defining poverty as more than just an economic issue. Payne, outlines the various resources that aren't typically taken into account when talking about poverty: emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, support systems, relationships and role models, knowledge of hidden class rules. The lack of financial resources is quite obvious in any discussion of poverty. The emotional is less so: "Being able to choose and control emotional responses, particularly to negative situations, without engaging in self-destructive behavior". Mental resources are also typically left out: "Having the mental abilities and acquired skills (reading, writing, computing) to deal with daily life". Support systems are never thought of: "Having friends, family, and backup resources available to access in times of need. These are external resources". Relationships and role models: "Having frequent access to adult(s) who are appropriate, who are nurturing to a child, and do not engage in self-destructive behavior". Knowledge of the hidden class rules: "Knowing the unspoken cues and habits of a group". In fact, I would say that a lot of people in any class make assumptions (many times they are incorrect) which prevent them from understanding people in the other classes and lead to false judgments levied against those in the other classes. But more on that later.She also spend a little time making a distinction between situational poverty, where one falls on hard times and drops from wealth to middle class or middle class to poverty and generational poverty. Generational poverty being the situation where a family is in poverty for two or more generations. If you come out of poverty into middle class, you are still, for the purposes of the book, someone who came from poverty. Your children will still have some of the echoes of the effects of poverty. It is not until their children that the traits disappear. This fact is largely unknown even to those who carry the traits of generational poverty with them.After Payne defines poverty by way of resources, she moves onto language and story structure and how those things influence thought and actions. The first topic in chapter two is the "Registers of Language". There are five registers in every language: Frozen, Formal, Consultative, Casual and Intimate. Each is defined as follows:Frozen - Language that is always the same. Examples are, the Lord's Prayer, wedding vows, etc...Formal - The standard sentence syntax and word choice of work and school. has complete sentences and specific word choice.Consultative - Formal register when used in conversation. Discourse pattern not quite as direct as formal register.Casual - Language between friends and is characterized by a 400 to 800 word vocabulary. Word choice is general and not specific. Conversation is dependent upon non-verbal assists (moving hands, facial expressions, gestures). Sentence syntax is often incomplete. "Know what I mean"?Intimate - Language between lovers. Also the language used in sexual harassment. (ie. "Blow me")These registers were the result of work done in 1967 by linguist Martin Joos. One thing that he discovered while conceptualizing these registers of language was that you can drop one register in a conversation and still be socially acceptable. But to drop two or more is socially offensive. (In the middle of a prayer, someone in the room says, "How 'bout them Bulls". That would be a social gaffe.) This, clearly illustrates one of the barriers that most people are unaware of when dealing with people from different classes.Much of this linguistic work found that people coming from generational poverty exclusively use casual register in their language. The middle class and the wealthy tend to use formal register for the most part. At the most basic and obvious level, this creates a barrier to entry into the professional world. But, it has deeper effects than most realize. Growing up around casual register has impacts on the developing skills of a child. Long-term effects that are quite damaging. In formal register, the pattern of discourse is a narrative with a beginning and end. You start at point A and work your way to point B. The general goal of formal register's pattern of discourse is to get straight to the point. Payne says, "In casual register, the pattern is to go around and around and finally get to the point. For students who have no access to formal register, educators become frustrated with the tendency of these students to meander almost endlessly through a topic".These differences in language registers between the classes are affected by language acquisition in early development as pointed out by linguist and educator James Paul Gee: "Primary discourse is the language an individual first acquired. Secondary discourse is the language of the larger society". For example, an American who grows up in a home where Spanish is the primary language will need to learn English as a secondary discourse. What Gee discovered is that acquisition of language is the more natural and best method of learning a language, and acquisition is only possible when there is a significant relationship between the role model and the developing child. Getting back to formal and casual register, this means that someone growing up in generational poverty will very likely only learn casual register for primary discourse. This is quite detrimental to any further learning developments.As mentioned before there is a distinct difference in the pattern of discourse between formal and casual register. Payne provides some diagrams and explanations to try and illustrate the differences. In general, formal register story structure in formal discourse starts at the beginning, works through a plot and then reaches an end. The most important part of this order is the plot. In casual register story structure, "the story is told in vignettes with audience participation in between". The most emotional or climactic part of the story is usually the very first part of the discourse, and characters involved in the story are judged. Two examples:Formal register:"James insulted Bill, so Bill punched James in the nose. A fight broke out on the factory floor until security came to break things up".Casual register:"Man, Bill popped Jim on the nose and there was blood everywhere! But he wasn't going to take what Jim called him. Jim's such a goddamn troublemaker! (someone interjects, "Bill's a loudmouth! Jim was right to give him some get back") Yeah, whatever. So before I knew what was going on, everyone started taking a swing at Bill or Jim. This wouldn't have happened if Jim would've kept to his self instead of sticking his nose in where it don't belong. It's sad that the guards came in and stopped the fight. I wanted to see Jim get flattened. That no good sonuvabitch deserves a good beating".These differences in register, discourse and story order are largely responsible for establishing some rather important skills in a developing child's mind. Regarding casual register as the primary acquired model of language, the following can be said based on the work of psychologist Reuven Feurstein: "If an individual depends upon a random, episodic story structure for memory patterns, lives in an unpredictable environment (as is typical of generational poverty)... then...If an individual cannot plan, he/she cannot predict.If an individual cannot predict, he/she cannot identify cause and effect.if an individual cannot identify cause and effect, he/she cannot identify consequence.If an individual cannot identify consequence, he/she cannot control impulsivity.If an individual cannot control impulsivity, he/she has an inclination toward criminal behavior".This is just a little sample of what Payne discusses in the book and there are a many more interesting examples and ideas that bear out in my personal experience. In fact, reading the book clarified for me a lot of the reasons why I have such difficulty dealing with people from a solidly middle class background and perceive many of them to be arrogant and insensitive. The book provides good arguments to counter the assumptions that anyone can do or be anything they want if they try hard enough. There are definitely things you can't do when you don't have the full set of tools in your toolbox. A lot of middle class people make the assumption that there is a full tool kit for everyone. Make no mistake, I'm not insulting the poverty class and there are always exceptions to the rule. Some people can bring themselves out of generational poverty into middle class. It's rare, but it's possible. My only criticism is that the book might be about ten to fifteen years too late. I'm noticing a lot of bleed over of the hidden class rules from poverty into middle class. For example, the poverty class male needs to be a "lover and a fighter". The middle class male must be a provider and self-sufficient. But these days, the "fighter" part of the poverty class male is becoming more of a societal requirement in middle class. (If only there was more review space)

  • J
    2019-05-12 12:02

    Dr. Payne offers outstanding discourse on variations in socioeconomic outlooks and perspectives. I used this quite a bit when dealing with offenders in my work as a probation-parole officer.Payne has an uncanny ability to vet out subtle cultural nuances and how they relate to one's world-view. I highly recommend this book as a quick study for understanding the things people do - things which might otherwise leave you bewildered. Now, I understand that there are some folks who dismiss this book as soft on research and even damning of poor people I don't see it that way and I think such detractors are really missing the Dr. Payne's point. There is a reason for everything people do. From a sociological perspective, outward appearances don't fully explain why people behave as they do if we fail to take social context into account. Dr. Payne does an exemplary job of providing insights to meet people on a plane where they define the terms of their existence rather than attempting to make them 'fit' neatly into 'ours'. That is where people are missing the mark; they are invoking their particular world view to make sense out of worlds that have nothing in common with their own. Yet others are put off owing to feelings of being marginalized by what they consider being labeled since they are a member of the group being described. My response is that we have to start somewhere and it is easy to criticize any body of work when we act to dismiss whatever tends to make us feel uncomfortable. My suggestion is to lay our prejudices (both for or against) the topic of study and try to see if any of it makes sense when personal bias is filtered out of the scheme. The book is slightly academic in nature - Dr. Payne is an educator after all - but, by no means is this book a difficult read. It is quite short and could easily be completely read in one sitting. It is the kind of book that makes you think so, you will most likely be re-reading and using it as a reference book. What you will find most intriguing about the book is its ability to accurately depict the intricacies of social systems - both within their own context - and, moreover what happens when socioeconomic worlds collide.

  • Dayspring
    2019-05-15 08:56

    Wow. After hearing reference to this book so many times within the realm of education, I finally sat down to read it myself. Let me save you some time - don't bother reading this book! It's misguided and is based on Payne's personal perspectives, not on research. I now understand why I've heard such strong critiques of Payne; ultimately I think not only that is the book ill-informed, but also that Payne's "case studies" and conclusions are more harmful then helpful. It perpetuates stereotypes and assumptions. I definitely would NOT recommend this book.

  • Glenda
    2019-05-13 15:16

    I'd forgotten being forced to read "A Framework for Understanding Poverty" for a PD in my school a few years ago. It's still used in my district as a basis for a class by the same name. The tone is condescending rather than authoritative. Having been a very poor kid growing up, I resent academics who blame w/out also assigning some personal accountability for individuals' circumstances, which, as I recall, is the case here.

  • Mason Wiebe
    2019-05-19 11:59

    During Grad school, I skimmed this book and remembered that it had a lot of good info about the cultural differences between classes (poverty, middle-class, wealthy), so when I saw that a friend was reading it down here, I decided to give it a second look. It is written with educators in mind, so it was only slightly applicable to what I am doing at this point in my life, and it is written about poverty in the US. What I found very interesting is that so many of the things we see here that we think are just a part of the Nicaraguan culture are actually part of the poverty culture. A lot of what was discussed in the book really made me look at a few things differently down here. I would have liked her to elaborate a bit more on the reasons behind the behaviors that she says are related to poverty. Instead she included a lengthy reference section and appendix (almost half of the book!). I think that all teachers and anyone who works with people living in poverty should read this book. It offers practical solutions to many problems commonly encountered when, for example, a middle-class teacher continually has behavior problems with her/his students who live in poverty. I like that it doesn’t advocate teaching children from poverty that their way of life is bad or wrong, just that if they hope to survive in the middle-class world, they need to learn about the rules of that culture.

  • Sorento62
    2019-05-08 16:00

    This book was eye opening in helping me understand the influence of class on world view and values. For example, entertainment being valued in poverty and exclusivity being valued in wealth. I am a little bewildered by some of the negative reviews on this book. Ok, the author generalizes -- so there are some stereotypical situations at play. But generalizing and categorizing are how we make sense of things and gain the tools to influence them. OF COURSE, the generalities and stereotypes do not explain everything and everyone. But they do help open ones eyes to such things as that middle class values are not universal or even objectively "right". I think the author is not judgmental at all. I found her a champion of coming to understand the validity of the values and skills each of us learns in the context of our family.

  • Kelley
    2019-04-27 14:06

    A good understanding of different value systems and having a broader view. I caution readers to not take it too literally as it is still important to individualize people and not think they fall into on group or another simply because of their income. DON'T OVERGENERALIZE :-)

  • Cat
    2019-04-28 09:52

    I've been through this Ruby Payne training twice and each time I am amazed at how helpful it is. I have learned so much about the struggles of each class. It was very practial to use with students or the public in general.

  • Alexis
    2019-05-17 17:01

    I think I would like to run this book through a Social-Science version of Mythbusters.

  • Beth
    2019-05-22 13:14

    The author does follow through on her promise to help you understand poverty better. She provides a lot of insights into how people in poverty make decisions that were quite eye opening to me. They helped make sense of a lot of behavior that I had currently found inexplicable. However, when it comes to "what to do about it," how do you help a child learn the behaviors that will take her out of poverty, the book was lacking. The chapters on application were nothing more than over-generalized, high-level lists of strategies, without out any explanatory details. There wasn't enough information there for me to understand the techniques she was talking about, let alone apply them. That was frustrating, since once I understood a little bit more about poverty, I wanted to be able to help.

  • Jamila
    2019-04-28 13:08

    I'm sure I will get some heat for this but . . . This book is part a book study, so I was required to read it. The book was very disturbing. The author goes on endlessly about low-income students and described "low-income" value sets and how these translate to poor academic performance. Her goal is to have students learn middle-class values and communication styles to enable them to achieve a middle class lifestyle. This book is all about getting students to conform to a middle-class European-American standard. It is insulting and could be dangerous in the hands of someone with little life experience or perspective. A more accurate title would be "Outdated Stereotypes for Oversimplifying Poverty."

  • Katrina Dula
    2019-04-25 13:58

    This book was very disturbing. I was told to read it for my elementary education program and I found it to be poorly written and racist. The author went on endlessly about low-income students and described "low-income" value sets and how these translate to poor academic performance. Her goal is to have students learn middle-class values and communication styles to enable them to achieve a middle class lifestyle. This book is all about getting students to conform to a middle-class European-American standard. It is insulting and could be dangerous in the hands of someone with little life experience or perspective.

  • Katie
    2019-05-13 15:05

    This book was full of implications relating to the population of students I work with. As I read the several case studies, examples, and theories about the cultural differences of people in generational and situational poverty, I was flooded with memories of particular situations with students in the past. Things that have frustrated me that are caused by: different cultural values and priorities, different forms of communication, different family relationships and values, a lack of support systems/role models that goes far beyond my initial understanding. I have about 12 flags of activities to try, things to remember, and strategies to use in the classroom.

  • Alaase Mahalah
    2019-05-11 09:48

    My work for today. This book was a revelation! Ruby Payne Ph.D masterfully explores the dimensions of poverty beyond money and analyses the different mindsets from poverty to middle-class to wealthy. Payne explores the realities of poverty in a very honest and relatable way and offers actionable strategies for preparing children of poverty to navigate successfully through the hidden roles of this middle-class rigged society. The barriers are real, the matrix is set up against you. It's only through understanding that one can overcome! #AlaaseX #Rubypayne #understandingpoverty #growthmindset #keystothematrix #unlearnandrelearn

  • Leslie
    2019-04-30 17:09

    Love this book. So eye opening and thought provoking. Seriously love it. I've been telling everyone to read it.

  • Jim Dressner
    2019-05-18 17:07

    A short book—only 117 pages before the notes and appendix—that provides precisely what the title says: a framework for understanding poverty. Easy-to-read and full of profound insights. Several chapters had content that led to "Aha!" moments of understanding. I think anyone working with urban poverty in the US would find this a worthwhile book to read.Some key insights:From the introduction:1. Generational poverty and situational poverty are different2. This work is based on patterns. All patterns have exceptions3. A individual brings with him/her the hidden rules of the class in which raised4. Schools & business operate from middle-class norms and use the hidden rules of middle class5. For students to be successful, we must understand their hidden rules and teach them rules that will make them successful6. Four reasons one leaves poverty are: too painful to stay, a vision or a goal, a key relationship, or a special talent or skillDefinition of poverty: “the extent to which an individual does without resources”. These resources are:1. Financial – having money to purchase goods and services2. Emotional – being able to choose and control emotional responses3. Mental – having mental abilities and acquired skills (reading, writing, computing)4. Spiritual – believing in divine purpose and guidance5. Physical – having physical health and mobility6. Support Systems – having friends, family and backup resources available7. Relationships/Role Models – access to adults who are nurturing, appropriate, not self-destructive8. Knowledge of Hidden Rules – knowing the unspoken cues and habits of a groupRole of Language – Registers of language:1. Formal – Standard syntax & word choice of work & school. Story pattern is beginning>plot>end. Consultative – Formal register when used in conversation. Good for resolving conflicts.2. Casual – Language between friends; word choice general; syntax often incomplete. Story pattern is cyclical and includes interaction with listeners.Often people in poverty know/use casual register but don’t know/use formal register. Discipline – in poverty, discipline is about penance and forgiveness, not necessarily instruction and change. Behavioral issues in school & work may be based on necessary street skills; need to teach that a different set of rules applies at school & work.Language of Negotiation – Three Internal Voices:1. Child Voice – defensive, emotional, whining, strongly negative non-verbal2. Parent Voice – authoritative, judgmental, directive, demanding, sometime threatening3. Adult Voice – non-judgmental, factual, often in question format, attitude of win-winMany in poverty have not developed the adult voice, through which one can negotiate. Using a parent voice with a person in poverty—especially in a context of discipline—often provokes anger and is seen as an insult.

  • Nathan
    2019-05-23 13:04

    Awesome. Easy to understand and immediately useful. WIN.Some key points to remember:1. Poverty is relative. If everyone around you has similar circumstances, the notion of poverty and wealth is vague. Poverty or wealth only exists in relationship to the known quantities or expectation.2. Poverty occurs among people of all ethnic backgrounds and in all countries.The notion of a middle class as a large segment of society is a phenomenon of this century. The percentage of the population that is poor is subject to definition and circumstance.3. Economic class is a continuous line, not a clear-cut distinction. Individuals move and are stationed all along the continuum of income.4. Generational poverty and situational poverty are different. Generational poverty is defined as being in poverty for two generations or longer. Situational poverty exists for a shorter time is caused by circumstances like death, illness, or divorce.5. This framework is based on patterns. All patterns have exceptions.6. An individual bring with them the hidden rules of the class in which they were raised. Even though the income of the individual may rise significantly, many patterns of thought, social interaction, cognitive strategies, and so on remain with the individual.7. School and businesses operate from middle-class norms and use the hidden rules of the middle class. These norms and hidden rules are never directly taught in schools or in businesses.8. We must understand our students' hidden rules and teach them the hidden middle-class rules that will make them successful at school and work.9. We can neither excuse them nor scold them for not knowing; we must teach them and provide support, insistence, and expectations.10. To move from poverty to middle class or from middle class to wealth, an individual must give up relationships for achievement (at least for some period of time).11. Two things that help one move out of poverty are education and relationships.12. Four reasons one leaves poverty are: It's too painful to stay, a vision or goal, a key relationship, or a special talent or skill.She has a great table of the hidden rules of different classes: poverty, middle class, and wealth, across attitudes to food, time, education, money, family structure, and even humour. As she says, there are no universals with humans, but this put a lot of things I've personally witnessed into context.Recommend, recommend, recommend.

  • meme
    2019-05-11 11:15

    This book was from the personal experience and research of doctor Payne regarding the three levels of wealth as identified in the schooling system as ‘poverty’, ‘middle class’, and ‘wealth’. The focus in the book is on the resources that are necessary to change from one class to the next. It helps the reader to identify those resources, understand why one class has some types of resources and the other classes have different resources. She claims that poverty has very little if nothing to do with actual financial issues, but instead is about the obtainment and use of resources. The resources Payne narrows in on are; financial, emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, support systems, relationships/role models, and knowledge of hidden rules. The most important resource she claims is relationships. This plays directly into the role of a teacher as being able to help teach how to build strong relationships and being a positive role model for those students and families. She breaks the resources into different chapters, shares the research behind each of the resources, provides case studies and ends each chapter with tips on how to use this information in schools. There are many important notions that I think will help me to better understand my students. Toward the end of each chapter, Payne gave some tips on how this information can be applied to the school and classroom. There were plenty of suggestions that I have recorded and plan to implement in the upcoming school year to help provide the most resources for my students as I can. An example would be that my lessons should focus on some of the skills that poverty students generally do not have (though middle class citizens such as myself assume everyone knows how to do and that they do it automatically) like; teaching students to plan, how to evaluate behaviors, how to explore data systematically and use specific language. The last two are important to science as we focus directly with large amounts of data and I now know that I need to teach the students how to intake, explore and analyze that data properly. As well, science is often a language in and of itself and while I know the language intimately, it is nice to get a professional reminder that not all sixteen year olds know how to speak and write in science terms. For any teacher who works with poverty students, I highly suggest this book.

  • ConnieKuntz
    2019-05-19 13:58

    This is a non-judgmental book about understanding the differences and inequalities in American society. There are many and Payne does an amazing job of explaining the differences between the impoverished, the middle class and the wealthy.It is refreshing to read a book that treats the impoverished with respect. It acknowledges that these are the people who have to make hard decisions all day, every day. While it is easy to stand back and judge them, this book invites you into their lives, their language, their true opportunities. Understanding Poverty outlines why some people simply don't have the same resources and opportunities that others have. It is a fascinating compilation of facts, graphs, quizzes, strategies, flow charts and resources that helped me understand the importance of talking about The Future with my kids. I didn't realize how much time I spent in the here-and-now with the kids until I read this book. While that is important, from now on, I am going to talk about the future most of all. "In the year TWO-THOUSAND!!!!" This book has taught me to change my ways. I like that. This is a surprisingly enlightening and psychologically engaging book. Last night, Jesse and I talked about poverty and what it "means" to us until the wee hours of the morning. It is an amazing topic that we'll visit again soon because we can talk about it as generally or specifically as we like. Talking about poverty helps us make better decisions for our kids. This may seem like a no-brainer, but until I read this book, it never occurred to me to analyze social structure. Now I know better.This is a book that has opened up dialogues and minds in my family. If you enjoy reading about politics and social studies, you will enjoy this book. If you enjoy creating thoughtful art and nurturing thoughtful children, then this is a must-read.

  • Nathan Scarborough
    2019-05-02 11:03

    I'll admit I only got about halfway through this book, (actually the audiobook, read by the author), and my initial observation that you can practically hear the pearls this woman is wearing when she speaks has not given way to a more favorable impression after several hours. Dr. Payne is clearly much better at marketing than she is at sociology, and her patronizing tone never improved. This woman wants you to know that she has black friends. She loved Music Of The Heart. She uses the word "homosexual", but only when she has to, and not in front of the children. Her book is full of simplistic, sanitized presentations of other people's work sandwiched between vignettes of other people's suffering, which you are asked to rate from 1-4. Please refer to Appendix A to see how well your assessment of Cynthia's post-molestation emotional resources matches up with the author's. Her writing leaves me with an almost Kafkaesque sense of having returned to the intellectual mediocrity and shuffling soulless incompetence of the failing school I dropped out of in 10th grade. Fortunately for me, the kinds of sociolinguistic factors this author is so lamentably bad at illuminating got me into college. I'm going back now, with a mind to offer an alternative to the inept insensitivity embodied by educators like Dr. Payne. Hopefully I won't have to suffer through more books like this in the process.

  • Tara
    2019-04-26 13:55

    I personally grew up in poverty and I have worked with high-poverty children for 10 years. This book explained a lot of things to me that I already knew to be true about my students. It also explained WHY a lot of things happened the way they did in my own family. I found it interesting that she's found cultural correlations among impoverished subgroups in various countries, not just here. Some people my disagree, strongly even. On this site, she's even been called a racist though I didn't see that in the book at all. In my personal scope of experience, a lot of the information is true. It will give people in the middle class some background knowledge with which to better understand the culture of poverty. Does it mean that EVERY family in poverty has the exact same struggles or ways of resolving issues? Of course not! But, it does explain why the students who never have paper and pencil for school have brand new tennis shoes. All too often, educators meet these situations with judgment of the student and his or her family. Sometimes the lack of understanding causes the teacher to write the student off because clearly the student nor the family cares. This book offers a bridge to a form of understanding. Of course, you must walk across the bridge yourself, one step at a time.

  • Jessica
    2019-05-18 12:06

    Tom and I had a pretty intense conversation about this book. Tom thinks this book is highly racist. I think this book has a mix of good and bad qualities and shouldn't be the ONLY book you read about poverty. It's a decent start though. I've seen this book referenced at a lot of workshops and poverty trainings. I think it gives a basic understanding in academic terms for people who may receive "culture shock" (as my mom likes to say) when not use to dealing with people from different socio-economic backgrounds. I likeFreakonomics way better in understanding a broad level of poverty, but again, I could see how in the late nineties this book was probably revolutionary. I also love how just 20 years later, you can already see how ineffective most of the strategies may be or are. Anyway, it gave some background knowledge and understanding on "labels/terms" that I have seen all my life. I have notes to have a thought provoking discussion about it.