Children from low-income or minority home are different from their classmates, which influences their academic achievements adversely (Slavin, 2014). In order to alter this situation and make all learners equal, educators should implement changes that can bring improvements.
Much attention should be paid to the standards that determine what students should learn at each grade. Currently, teachers and schools have the possibility to define what information should be obtained by the learners and what assignments they should do. As a result, one and the same child can have different marks depending on the class where he/she is studying but not on one’s knowledge and abilities.
Educators should create public standards followed by all educational establishments to solve this issue. In this way, students will have similar assignments regarding their background while currently coloring ones are spread in poverty schools and writing or mathematics ones in others (Haycock, 2001).
As educators are the people who define what kind of assignments the students will deal with, they should try to limit the use of technology. Of course, working with the computer, for example, is critical in the current world because they are used almost everywhere. Still, students who represent low-income and minority families often do not have them at home, which prevents them from coping with the task and affect academic achievement negatively (Dy, Havard, Sansing, & Yu, 2004). If such assignments were given in class, all children would have equal chances to accomplish them successfully.
Except for that, it is significant to have equal hiring standards for teachers. For instance, now, less experienced educators with limited knowledge are often chosen to work with such populations (Haycock, 2001). In this way, children’s chances to obtain decent knowledge reduce, which has adverse effects on achievement levels. Efficient educators can give these students more if they are hired.
Problem-solving or critical thinking skills allow students to reach high achievements and give them an opportunity to become highly-valued workers with the course of time. That is why educators should encourage and promote them.
Using particular instructions, teachers can encourage students to get involved in the learning process. They should show that relying on lectures and memorization cannot be enough. In this perspective, it can be beneficial to start discussions aimed to answer “why” and “how” questions. For example, when telling learners that the environment should be protected, the teacher can ask why protection is needed and how it can be maintained. In this way, students will develop their skills (Snyder & Snyder, 2008). Such an approach can be used during different classes. The thing is to give some general and basic information so that the learners can use it as a starting point and develop the idea.
It can also be advantageous to create group learning environments. When working together, students tend to feel more confident and open. They have an opportunity to share their ideas with each other, which can turn into a discussion or dispute. In this perspective, considering different points of view and critically assessing them can be extremely advantageous. The educator can encourage such activities by asking to say why a particular conclusion was made, and other thoughts were considered to be not appropriate.
Except for that, writing assignments can bring many advantages. Making students prepare an argumentative essay or critical analysis, the teacher gives them an opportunity to develop discussed skills.
Du, J., Havard, B., Sansing, W., & Yu, C. (2004). The impact of technology use on low-income and minority students’ academic achievements. Journal of Educational Research & Policy Studies, 4(2), 21-38.
Haycock, K. (2001). Closing the achievement gap. Helping All Students Achieve, 58(6), 6-11.
Slavin, R. (2014). Educational psychology: Theory and practice. New York, NY: Pearson.
Snyder, L., & Snyder, M. (2008). Teaching critical thinking and problem solving skills. The Journal of Research in Business Education, 50(2), 90-99.