Implications for Curriculum Adaptations
I have discussed curriculum throughout the paper as it pertains to each dimension. In summary, the following are highlights of what must be considered when developing curriculum in schools or classrooms where students of poverty are involved.
- Provide all students with a rigorous curriculum.
- Have high expectations for all students.
- Make students responsible for their own learning.
- Provide support to students and their families. Involve parents. Early intervention is critical.
- Help children to succeed.
- Create an environment and use activities that foster mutual respect, resilience, self-esteem, self-regulation and self-efficacy.
- Develop relationships with students to identify their needs (emotional and intellectual) and identify their individual learning style.
- Emphasize that each student is unique with value, talents and abilities.
- Promote awareness and acceptance of diversity. Encourage students to recognize similarities as well as differences.
- Use principles of constructivism to make learning interesting, valuable and relevant to students. Teach for meaning.
- Provide developmentally appropriate, meaningful learning activities and use thematic or integrated instruction, cooperative learning, inquiry and authentic learning.
Poverty should not be an excuse for us to expect less from our students. They indeed come to us with numerous issues and challenges that interfere with their learning. We need to focus on their learning, find ways to help them overcome these challenges and gain the most they can from their education. Their education is likely their one chance to break the poverty cycle and escape. Just because they are poor doesn't mean they cannot succeed. It is actually one of the best reasons for them to succeed.
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