Exemplary Teachers of Students in Poverty

Front Cover
Geoff Munns, Wayne Sawyer, Bronwyn Cole
Routledge, Jan 3, 2013 - Education - 208 pages

Education and poverty exist in a highly contested relationship even in the developed world. On the one hand, educational outcomes seem solidly attached to socio-economic status, and on the other, education is often cited as a way out of poverty. Success at de-coupling poverty from educational outcomes varies across the developed world. The issues connecting education and poverty are complex, but the question of the successful engagement of students from poor backgrounds involves a complex mix of public policy on poverty, public policy on education, and teacher action. This book focuses on a number of exemplary teachers who demonstrate a set of common pedagogical qualities, assisting them to work productively with persistent classroom challenges in low SES classrooms.

Exemplary Teachers of Students in Poverty shares successful classroom practice from schools serving diverse and disadvantaged communities, and stresses that opportunities in school can influence educational engagement and encourage students to achieve. The text locates itself in international debates about education and poverty, and reports on the Teachers for a Fair Go project - an Australian research project into the work of a number of teachers who were successful at engaging students from poor backgrounds.

Included in the book:

  • teaching in low SES communities
  • what exemplary teachers of students in low SES communities do
  • specific pedagogical approaches in literacy, ICT, creativity and culturally responsive practices
  • students’ voices
  • professional qualities of these teachers

Exemplary Teachers of Students in Poverty will greatly benefit researchers, teacher educators and trainee teachers, allowing them to gain a much deeper understanding of the issues, constraints and perspectives in teaching contexts across low SES communities.


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1 A fair go in education
the research methodology and the theory
3 Teaching in low socioeconomic status communities
4 Learning and behaviour
5 Introducing four of the teachers
6 Teacher backgrounds
7 Professional qualities of the teachers
8 What exemplary teachers do
10 Imagination creativity and intellectual quality
11 Engaging teaching practices with ICT in low SES schools
12 Culturally responsive pedagogical practices
13 Building community through exploring place and sharing control
14 Student voices
15 A new Monday morning and beyond

9 Literacies in challenging contexts

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About the author (2013)

Geoff Munns is a researcher at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and leader of the Fair Go Program, actively working to make schools and classrooms more productive for students in poverty.

Wayne Sawyer is Director of Research in the School of Education at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and a member of the Centre for Educational Research.

Bronwyn Cole is an Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor in Education at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and a founding member of the Fair Go Program.

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