Chapter 8 discusses development and its affects on child learning. While theories and ideas from familiar names, such as Bruner and Piaget were revisited, the child study movement and the familial influence on learning concept were introduced. One aspect of this chapter that I found very interesting was the section on SES located under familial influences. The book is clear to state that the SES or the socio economic status of a student’s family is not the reason for a student’s lag in development but rather a contributing factor to difficulties in development. (Schunk pg. 350). I work at a school that is specifically geared towards educating the students of lower income families and providing these students with the education and opportunities needed to break the cycle of poverty. I never fully understood the concept of “breaking the cycle” until I started teaching and was able to witness firsthand the affects of a student’s SES on their education. Consider the unfortunately common scenario that applies to a student who lives in a low income home. The student is also the oldest of five children and must help his/her mother/father with feeding, bathing and putting the younger children to sleep. After doing all this, the student must still find the time and energy to complete his/her homework. The next day in class the student has trouble staying awake during a lecture and misses important information concerning an upcoming test. Now this student could be right where he/she is supposed to be developmentally speaking, but because of his/her family’s current financial situation, he/she is experiencing much difficulty. As educators it’s our duty to be aware of our students’ engagement in class and to develop engaging lessons that will increase students’ motivation to learn, but I do feel it is important to maintain a relationship with students’ parents.
Consider the previously mentioned scenario. What are some actions that we, as teachers, could take to aid this student?