Revisiting Ruby Payne

The Team Leader group at The Academy is participating in a book study this six weeks centering on Ruby Payne’s A Framework for Understanding Poverty.

I have read the book before and liked it, but I think I am enjoying it more this go around. For one reason, we are reading an updated edition that has been written and edited a little better than the original version, but also because I have a larger frame of reference this time. By this I mean, I have been teaching longer and have come in contact with more of the “types” of students Dr. Payne discusses in her book.

When I graduate from Irving High School in 1992, Irving ISD had just begun the shift from majority of Caucasian middle-income families to minority, middle to low-income families. Now the district is under 20% Caucasian and approximately 68% of students are on free or reduced lunch. The problem is that many of the teachers and administrators in the district have not adapted to the change. It sometimes seems that many of them expect students to perform at the same level, with the same curriculum and in the same way as students in previous years. Yet, this approach does not always (in fact, rarely) seem to work.

Our demographics have changed and so should our understanding of the students. Maybe reading and discussing Ruby Payne’s research will help. I hope so.

As our book study progresses, I will continue to add information about our discussions and what I am learning.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Academy, Education, Ruby Payne

2 Comments on “Revisiting Ruby Payne”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Why are only team leaders invited to do book studies?

  2. astephens Says:

    Team Leaders (which incidentally are not just team leaders but also me, counselors, admin and a librarian) are certainly not the only ones who can participate in book studies. The principal just happened to organize this book study with the team leaders; however, anyone is able to attend the weekly team leader meetings if they like and hence take part in the book study. I know that administrators have also participated in a book study this year and that teams have participated in the past. The librarians have also hosted a reading club in previous years but attendance was low. I hope I have sufficiently answered your question. 🙂


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