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ERIC Number: ED551748
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 181
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-2720-3
A Case Study of How an Online Course Influenced Rural South Dakota K-12 Educators' Understanding and Interactions with Students in Poverty
O'Doan, Debra
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of South Dakota
Poverty has an effect on students, schools, and communities. Issues surrounding poverty interweave with education which affects student achievement. When educational development is not maximized, society pays the price in the forms of public health, crime, incarceration, resources, community involvement, and decisions made in the community. Education is one area to fight the effects of poverty; regulations in education now require educators to address the needs of economically disadvantaged students. Educators' experiences and values influence their attitudes and behaviors, which impacts students. By learning about poverty, educators gain awareness and are able to set aside their preconceived notions, making them better at serving economically disadvantaged students. The purpose of this ex post facto case study was to explore experiences, attitudes, and beliefs K-12 educators held about poverty, and then determine if by learning more about poverty, educators gained new perspectives and applied new information to their teaching. The learning took place in an online course based mainly on Ruby Payne's work. The study aimed to discover if changes occurred in K-12 educators' attitudes, instruction, and interactions with students. The study identified recognized and unrecognized biases educators hold toward students in poverty. Also identified were changes in behavior due to transformative learning that occurred during the online course. The analysis of the data produced six major themes, two of which include subthemes. The six major themes were as follows: experiences and perceived problems with students in poverty, current approaches used with students in poverty, biases about students in poverty, evidence of mental change via insights, evidence of change via action, and evidence of follow-up. Biases about students in poverty contained two subthemes, recognized biases and unrecognized biases. Under evidence of mental change, six subthemes were revealed: general insights, judgments and understanding of people in poverty, systems issues, teaching strategies, building relationships with students, and building relationships with parents, and communities. The findings reinforced that poverty is a complex issue and suggest that in specific settings where transformative learning occurs, educators can improve their practice, classroom environments, and relationships to be more supportive of students and families in poverty. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Dakota