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Changing Teachers’ Perspective of Students from Lower Socioeconomic Families

Keibler, David (2019) Changing Teachers’ Perspective of Students from Lower Socioeconomic Families. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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With the poverty cycle continuing and many communities facing an increased number of lower socioeconomic status (SES) families, it is essential to understand the perception teachers have regarding students living in poverty and how teachers’ life experiences may differ from those of students who come from lower SES families. Many constructs, including socioeconomic status, can influence a child's ability to ready. The focus of this study is to identify what K-2 teachers know about students who live in lower SES households and how knowledge of their circumstances can be used to help children learn. Does professional development aimed at increasing teachers’ knowledge of students living in poverty change how they teach or increase their empathy towards these students?
Qualitative methodology was used for this study, which sought to evaluate the knowledge of K-2 reading teachers regarding students living in poverty and to assess the influence of one professional development session on the instructional approach of teachers at David Leech Elementary School. Two methods anchored the study: a survey and interviews. A survey of the K-2 reading teachers was used to enhance the investigator’s understanding of how the professional development training, “Chocolate in Poverty,” may have influenced teacher perspectives on students in poverty. Interviews were then conducted with the grade level leaders in kindergarten, first, and second grades. The teacher responses to the survey and interview questions identified the need for additional trainings specific to the impact poverty has on student learning. Future trainings should provide teachers with resources such as research-based interventions that are proven to support students from lower SES families, strategies to increase parent engagement, and information identifying the available resources in the Leechburg community and how to access the resources. Moving forward, conversations with teachers, parents, and other community stakeholders will further explore ways teachers can support lower SES students overcome the challenges faced at school and in their home lives.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Keibler, DavidDMK83@pitt.eduDMK83
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairLongo, Ralph
Committee MemberBachman, Heather
Committee MemberWagner, Heather
Date: March 2019
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 1 March 2019
Approval Date: 26 June 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 78
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: No
Uncontrolled Keywords: Lower Socioeconomics Poverty Teacher Preparation Teachers' Perspectives
Other ID:
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2019 19:01
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2019 19:04


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