- Year 2019
- NSF Award #1660679
- Registration Current Noyce Scholar
- First Name Mary
- Last Name Olson
- Discipline Math
- Institution University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
For Noyce scholars regular coursework will provide instruction in current research and strategies to become an effective teacher within their respective content areas, however, we found the need for increased study on how to be an effective teacher in a high-needs environments. Eric Jensen, the author of “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” claims that his books fill in the gap between research/ strategies and how to implement them in a high poverty school. His book covers key factors for academic success and what research says in relation to poverty. We used this book to learn more on how to apply the instruction from our regular coursework given the difficulties that come with teaching in a high-needs classroom. Goals:In the book, Eric Jensen makes three claims or goals to cover within the book. The three claims from his book are: 1) Chronic exposure to poverty causes the brain to physically change in a detrimental manner. 2) Because the brain is designed to adapt from experience, it can also change for the better. And 3) Although many factors affect academic success, certain key ones are especially effective in turning around students raised in poverty. Approach:Eric Jensen presents the information by looking at a secondary history teacher in a high-poverty school and how is perspective changed while learning about how poverty impacts student’s academic achievement. He approached this by covering the nature of poverty, the effects of poverty on students, embracing a mindset of change, what drives change at the school and classroom level, and finally a framework for how this might look in practice. Outcomes: Key takeaways from the book The effects of poverty include emotional and social challenges, acute and chronic stressors, cognitive lags, and health and safety issues. Change is possible. The brain is designed to change, in order to create change one must first believe change is possible. Five SHARE factors for schoolwide success: support the whole child, hard data, accountability, relationship building, and enrichment mindset. Five SHARE factors for classroom success: standards-based curriculum and instruction, hope building, arts athletics and advanced placement, retooling of the operating system, and engaging instruction. What’s next: Eric Jensen wrote a follow-up book, “Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind”, where he expands on practical strategies for engaging students in poverty.