Thanks to Jane Van Galen for posting a link to Scott McLeod’s discussion about Ruby Payne’s consulting work with school districts. He asks important questions, including whether schools should continue to spend precious money on a consultant whose work has been disproved for decades. Ruby Payne’s work is riddled with assertions that do not align with decades of research on poverty, and her “strategies” for working with children who are poor are based on nothing but her personal experiences of having never taught poor children herself.
And yet, her book has sold millions of copies (self-published of course; no peer review process like the rest of us have to go through to ensure trustworthy research and assertions), and districts spend tens of thousands of dollars for RP herself and affiliates to come speak to teachers.
There are many alternatives, folks. Much fabulous research on poverty and social class that researchers agree with and recommend to teachers and principals all the time. They’re not quick-fixes (like RP offers) because social inequities were not created overnight, but there are many instructional and interrelational approaches that have been proven to be in the best interest of children and families from low income homes.