Socio-Economic background and its effect on learning patterns

The kids I have been teaching(part-time) come from families of varied Socio-Economic strata. Of course, none belong to the creame-de-la-creame.

After keen observation, I have come to notice that in spite of being subjected to similar teaching methods, these kids have differing learning patterns which are closely related to their economic background. Children from low socio-economic backgrounds acquire language skills at a slower rate and face greater difficulties in letter recognition. I tried alternative teaching methods to ensure that these kids get extra attention, but it turned out that they exhibited difficulties in phonological awareness as well.

One of the root causes could be the lack of nutrition. Most of these kids have very low attention spans, presence of mind and concentration. They never seem to mind when the other kids fare better than them, clearly indicating their low self esteem.
That said, a couple of students from such backgrounds have also performed exceptionally well in academics, sports and extra-curricular activities. This particular set of kids have one thing in common-strong familial support in the child’s progress.

A couple of approaches I am planning to adopt are:
1.) Fostering learning, motivation, equity and development of social skills.
2.) Educating about diversity of the world around us.
3.) Reading about successful persons from varied cultural/social/economic backgrounds
4.) Critical thinking
5.) Promoting mutual respect amongst all students
6.) Rigorous reading sessions
7.) Increased focus and encouragement of co-curricular activities

What I am sure of is that disadvantaged children are different, but not deficit.

Do you have any suggestions? Do let me know.

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5 comments

  1. Khalid Raza · November 6, 2011

    well said Ishma: Our socio-economical orientation plays an important role in learning. The reason is lack of connect – post learning session the kids do not have any other avenue to further connect with that learning

    • Aashith · November 7, 2011

      Well written ma’am! Glad to see work like this given the attention that it deserves..
      You could try to integrate intermittent periods of high concentration in activities… Gradually the tempo can be increased to help them retain and attend longer, and concentrate better. Meditation could help but don’t know how effective it would be under different conditions.
      Block puzzles, lego-based puzzles that involve motor-eye coordination can also be used I guess. It will be in their zone of learning and will help build critical thinking.
      Just my opinions! 🙂

  2. Jeevan Anthony Louis · November 9, 2011

    Very nice… your seven pointer are very good and strong… i just want to emphasize on the first point… since you are teaching kids of age group 5 to 7 yrs (assuming) they dont really have an understanding of right or wrong, success or failure… so motivation plays the biggest role…. give them a chocolate or a sweet or something everytime they complete their task 🙂

    Cheers!!!! Keep up the good work….

  3. Faz · November 9, 2011

    Damn rite….good one!!!! cheers…..fazeel!!!

  4. Abhishek · November 9, 2011

    Good one..

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