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.