Title

Challenges and opportunities: Leveraging the power of the brain for students in and of poverty

First Presenter's Institution

Francis Marion University

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Session 9 (Percival)

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

Research is clear that life with limited key resources can have a negative impact on development, and the achievement gap between children with limited resources and their peers with greater access is well-documented. Children of and in poverty score far lower on virtually every standardized test than those who are more economically advantaged, and the dropout rate for students living in low-income is five times greater than that of their counterparts. The good news is that we now know that brains are changing every minute of every day, and specific and targeted strategies can reveal the potential for positive brain change that can result in unprecedented school success, revealing the potential of all students that sometimes remains hidden.

A neuroscience foundation for common cognitive and socio-emotional areas of struggle will provide a natural foundation for specific strategies and actions designed to activate the brain and neutralize the potentially negative impacts of life with limited resources.

Head: Academic Achievement & Leadership Specific actionable strategies that will be shared include a focus on teacher moves that support the development of executive functions, memory trace, and activating background knowledge.

Heart: Social & Emotional Skills Specific actionable strategies that will be shared include a focus on teacher moves that capitalize on the power of relationships, decrease stress, increase status and hope, grow mindsets and motivation.

Attendees will be also be challenged to consider the potentially negative impact of traditional school practices, including discipline strategies and grading practices, as well as common instructional moves as note-taking, questioning strategies, and others that are not supported by new understandings from the science of learning.

Brief Program Description

Life with limited resources can negatively impact achievement and life success, but the good news is that schools and teachers can matter more! Explore highest-yield school moves and their foundation in neuroscience, and take away 25 budget-neutral brain-based strategies. Learn how to reframe the challenges faced by teachers in high-poverty schools as opportunities for revealing the often-hidden potential of every learner every day.

Summary

Teachers often report that students with limited resources often appear hopeless, disengaged, or unmotivated, and are failing to scratch the surface of their potential. The science of learning offers new insights into why this may be happening and which teacher and school moves matter most. When teachers, school leaders, and stakeholders better understand the neuro-biological reasons for the struggles that many students experience, authentic and strategic brain-based accommodations and interventions can be designed and implemented. And, when a goal-focused model is used to frame those interventions, fewer students will be lost within a system that means well, but has not leveraged what we now know about the structure and function of the brain, including the promise of neural plasticity.

Attendees in this session will

  1. Identify common threats to student achievement that are linked to students’ limited access to resources;
  2. Take-away resources for expanding their understanding of the challenges that poverty can present;
  3. Explore up to 25 specific teacher actions that can elevate student success (based on length of session);
  4. Take-away resources for research-based, goal-directed and high-yield teacher and school moves that can positively impact school success.
  5. Take away an action-research model for implementing strategies with a focused goal for success.

Participants will gain access to research, video, and graphic resources for later use during in-school study in professional learning communities.

Evidence

This presentation is based on more than 12 years of original research focused on the impact of poverty and positive mitigating factors. 25 identified high-impact teacher and school moves have their foundation in the work of research leaders in the science and practice of learning, including: Carol Dweck (Mindsets), John Vito (Motivation), Eric Jensen, Judy Willis, Bruce Perry, Karl Alexander, others (Neuroscience), Robert Marzano, John Hattie, Dylan Wiliam, Albert Mehrabian (Pedagogy), Joyce Epstein (Family Engagement), Lorin Anderson (Educational Research). Example implementation strategies for each have been developed for learners at all levels, but, more importantly, a strong research base is offered that empowers teachers, leaders, and stakeholders to examine common practices with an eye for alignment.

An action research-based model for implementation of these strategies has been field tested for four years, yielding positive outcomes in a variety of qualitative and quantitative impact measures including student and teacher attendance, major and minor behavior referrals, teacher attitudes and beliefs, and student achievement.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Tammy Pawloski is Professor of Education and Director of the Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty at Francis Marion University. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina, and prior to joining the faculty of FMU, she served on the faculties of USC campuses across South Carolina, and Ventura College and Pepperdine University in Southern California. Pawloski has led more than 1000 professional learning events for teachers, school leaders, and stakeholders. More than 35 years later, she understands the challenges and opportunities of teaching. She has devoted the last fifteen years to the study of children of poverty—why they struggle and which strategies have the greatest impact. Pawloski is a noted expert because of her breadth of knowledge, however what resonates most with teachers and school leaders is her ability to deliver an uncommon combination of research, practice, and compelling stories from the field that empower and challenge them to show up as most effective educators. Don’t miss this session!

Keyword Descriptors

poverty, cognitive neuroscience, under-resourced, best practices, action research

Presentation Year

2020

Start Date

3-11-2020 11:15 AM

End Date

3-11-2020 12:30 PM

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Mar 11th, 11:15 AM Mar 11th, 12:30 PM

Challenges and opportunities: Leveraging the power of the brain for students in and of poverty

Session 9 (Percival)

Life with limited resources can negatively impact achievement and life success, but the good news is that schools and teachers can matter more! Explore highest-yield school moves and their foundation in neuroscience, and take away 25 budget-neutral brain-based strategies. Learn how to reframe the challenges faced by teachers in high-poverty schools as opportunities for revealing the often-hidden potential of every learner every day.