A child born today in the developing world has a 4 out of 10 chance of living in extreme poverty. It is the main underlying cause of millions of preventable deaths and the reason why children are malnourished, miss out on school or are abused and exploited.
How Does Poverty Affect Education? April 10, Updated On: When it comes to poverty and education, many children face difficult situations. As a result, they are commonly behind their classmates physically, socially, emotionally or cognitively. Physical Readiness There are three ways poverty affects physical development.
The first is the role of nutrition. The diets of students who live in poverty are rarely balanced or nutritious. Fresh foods are more expensive than pre-packaged alternatives, and inexpensive fast food is readily available.
The hectic working conditions involved with two parents holding multiple jobs to pay the bills results in hurried, unhealthy meals. Children in these families must often look after themselves, meaning there is no adult supervision of their eating habits.
Secondly, improper nutrition leads to poor health.
When children do not eat regular, well-balanced meals, their bodies are more susceptible to a variety of illnesses, like untreated ear infections and asthma.
Students who suffer from these chronic health issues are absent more often than other students, which causes them to fall behind. Thirdly, the lack of physical activity in students who live in poverty affects their concentration.
Some families of students who live in poorer neighborhoods do not believe it is safe for their young children to play outside; even if there is a playground or park nearby, the violence associated with these neighborhoods keeps families indoors. Social-Emotional Readiness It is also important to consider how emotions relate to poverty and education.
Students who live in poverty-stricken families encounter many situations that can seriously affect them socially and emotionally. Studies show that many of these students live in single-parent households. They may act out in different ways.
Some students are more aggressive and talk back to teachers using inappropriate language. Other students disconnect themselves and become passive — they do not respond to questions or requests. Without stress relief, these students will struggle at school. Whether they act out or check out, poverty will have an effect on their development.
Students who believe that their station in life will never change may go to little or no effort to succeed. The influence of an encouraging teacher can offset this negative impact.
Some children have short attention spans, some are highly distractible, and some cannot effectively monitor the quality of their own work. Poor nutrition and health also influence how children learn. Exposure to lead, most commonly found in the paint in older, run-down homes and buildings, has been linked to poor working memory and an inability to make cause-and-effect connections.
Chronic ear infections cause hearing loss, which makes it more difficult to follow directions.
Vocabulary plays a major part in cognitive development and student success in the classroom. Children living in poverty do not participate in lively conversations like their middle-class counterparts.
By the time students enter kindergarten, children from poor families have heard only half as many words as their middle-class counterparts. The disparity increases in comparison to upper-income families.
This lack of exposure to a rich and interesting vocabulary can leave students behind in academic conversations. Many students who cannot understand the words in their texts will resist reading altogether.Research References.
The following references are selected from publications within the past five years. These articles were selected to demonstrate the range of social work research related to poverty, its causes, and its impact on people and related social systems.
Poverty has a particularly adverse effect on the academic outcomes of children, especially during early childhood. Chronic stress associated with living in poverty has been shown to adversely affect children’s concentration and memory which may impact their ability to learn.
IPA stands at the forefront of a movement to build rigorous evidence and ensure it is used to improve the lives of people living in poverty. In , we started 75 new studies and continued our efforts to share research findings and grow our visibility through 70 events across the world.
The Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force.
Assembly Bill (Chapter , Statutes of ) directed the California Department of Social Services to convene The Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force. The findings that exposure to poverty in early childhood materially impacts brain development at school age further underscores the importance of attention to the well established deleterious effects of poverty on child development.
Well Child/Tamariki Ora is a free service that is offered to all New Zealand children from birth to five years. Well Child can support you to protect and improve your child’s health, so they can grow and develop to their full potential.