Teacher’s Beliefs about Poverty

I found this article to be one of the most interesting out of all the articles about poverty and education.  This article dealt with the issue of poverty in a very different way. The way that they dealt with this issue was in expressing that  socioeconomic status is very strong determinant for student success but also a teachers misconceptions lack of knowledge about poverty were just as much a factor about success as anything else.  

In this article, they reviewed data that had to deal with things like IQ and RTI but also they dealt with the teachers and how they viewed poverty.  They asked the teachers several questions regarding what they felt about poverty.  They asked questions about certain assumptions that these teachers had.  They asked questions about hard work and its effect on poverty, what difference schools could make, how they felt there school compared to other schools, and what socioeconomic class each of the teachers came from.  

When they did this they found there were several things they had in common. These teachers had made assumptions based on their own biases, lack of education, or their own socioeconomic background.  Many of the teachers in the study made assumptions but did not take into account the reality of where there students were coming from. When the teachers made these assumptions they did not offer the correct responses to their student’s difficulties.  Also, if the teachers were not educated about the effects of poverty or they were brought up in different socioeconomic circumstances they could offer the proper support to their students because they did not understand how or what their students were going through.  In doing this and asking these questions the researcher came up with several remedies to these problems that these teachers where experiencing. 

Some of the suggestions that these researchers came up with were that teachers should be more educated in the effects of poverty, more administrative support to help teachers assist their students, early identification of extra help, and more studies and research in this particular field of study.

In conclusion, if teachers and educators follow these suggestions and learn more about their own misconceptions about poverty, maybe we can help these students and make their educational experience a beneficial one.  


Chandler, R. (2014). Teachers’ Beliefs about Poverty and the Impact on Learning Disabilities Identification in a Poor, Rural School District. Rural Educator35(3), 31-  39.


Author: val77777777

This blog has been published by Belena Garza and Stephanie Tornrow. If you have any questions regarding this blog please direct your questions to either one of us.

2 thoughts on “Teacher’s Beliefs about Poverty”

  1. The findings you report are just another reason why there needs to be an open dialogue about the impacts of poverty on academic achievement. Too bad the article is not available for readers. I can tell you from my own experience in the classroom, the limitations of poverty never really factor in to the discussion when it comes to children’s performance or behavior. In fact, often teachers and administrators are very aware of the resource issues of certain students, yet speak about those issues in hushed tones. What I believe is the cause of this is the teachers and administrators sense that they are incapable of truly helping the situation, outside of providing food and free school supplies. At the end of the day, impoverished students return to their impoverished families; their time at school is at best a reprieve from an otherwise stressful and difficult living situation. We have found a way to accommodate and discuss other types of cultural differences, but poverty still seems to be the elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge. With 51% of the public school students in this country living below the poverty line, I do believe it is time to openly and honestly discuss the impacts of poverty. Schools, teachers, and administrators can’t do it alone; community involvement is necessary to ensure that the support is felt after school hours.


  2. This brings up a good point. Self-fulfilling prophecy is a real issue. Students want to meet our expectations, but if we don’t expect much there’s no room for achievement. If the most we expect out of a student is to show up to class, (typically) that’s the most effort we will receive.


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