• Effects of Poverty on the Brains of Children and Effective Teaching Strategies to Meet Their Specific Needs

      Halquist, Donald; Robb, Sue; Palmer, Kimberly D.; The College at Brockport (2015-06-08)
      The purpose of this study was to explore how living in poverty or low income households affects the brains and therefore academic achievement of students, and also to explore effective teaching strategies that address the specific needs of these students. Through an extensive literature review of current, existing research and in-depth data collection of a middle school in Western New York, this researcher was able to find that students living in poverty or low income housing are more at risk for chronic and acute stress, cognitive brain effects, social and emotional effects (including behavior concerns), health and safety issues, and academic underachievement, as per New York State Assessment data. The findings suggest that children living in poverty or low income households benefit from engaging learning that involves their interests and movement, making learning meaningful and relevant. The findings also suggest that students living in poverty benefit from intense, frequent vocabulary instruction to increase language acquisition and close language gaps that begin prior to entering kindergarten. Furthermore, building positive relationships with these students can increase social emotional skills, motivation, and engagement in school.