Monday, June 20, 2011

Teach me what?

I have an exam today so I've been doing some practise questions.

I just came across this one:

True or False: Living in poverty affects a child's school achievement rather than their emotional or behavioural states.

My answer: False
Correct answer: True

I thought, in answering the question, no, living in poverty does not just affect a child's school achievement, rather than their emotional or behavioural states. I think living in poverty would affect all those areas; doesn't it?

Apparently not, according to my textbook.

There's a message there for policy-makers: Fix the poverty problem and you'll instantaneously fix the literacy and numeracy issues in Australia too. Sure we'll still have all our emotional and behavioural issues but 40 years in a mundane processing job should beat them out of us.


The Elephant's Child said...

Huh? I think your textbook is WRONG, WRONG, DANGEROUSLY WRONG. And, naive soul that I am, I would have thought that damage to a child's emotional or behavioual states would of themselves (regardless of poverty) impact on their school achievement.

Kettle said...

I think so too, TEC. You should see my textbook; I've argued in the margins all the way through.

In face, the whole book is an awful case of theory eclipsing the actual experience of people with 'special needs' (of which my son is technically one). On the plus side, it's a compulsory unit so at least everyone's being made to think about the issues, and theory is at least better than no thought at all...

Kettle said...

In face? In fact, ahem.

eat my shorts said...

I'd so like to add to this discussion, because I have lots of thoughts. But it was the first day back at school today and my brain is all smushed.

Kettle said...

EMS I think the fact I wrote 'face' instead of 'fact' suggests my brain was mushy today too.

Sleep; sleep is best for these things. There will be less mush on the morrow.

Alex said...

From what I'm told, not only can emotional and behavioural problems be a source of poor marks, but consistently poor marks can lead to emotional and
behavioural problems (kids start thinking they're dumb, disengage and become disruptive). So, I'd like to know why the author thinks these things are unrelated.

Of course, poverty's a tricky beast. There's a difference between having parents with a low income and having parents with poor self-management skills.

Kettle said...

So bizarrely half the questions on the exam were drawn from the practise questions. Hurray!

Hurray for my mark but not hurray for common sense. I still can't reconcile myself to the idea that poverty only affects kids' marks (rather than their emotional wellbeing). I guess if I get through the exams by toeing the course line I can try I can figure out how things really are when I get into a classroom. Totes awes.

Kettle said...

pls excuz typos... oops.