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Education:  Learning to Rise above Poverty 11

learning style, as well as cultural and social backgrounds.  Examples of practices implemented in this program include morning meeting in which everyone discusses issues and shares information, which develops a sense of community.  Rules and consequences are discussed and are meaningful to each and every student, and the teachers are trained to encourage effort instead of praise outcomes.  A three year longitudinal study on the RC Approach found that its use resulted in an increase in students’ reading and math scores (Rimm-Kaufman, Fan, Chiu, & You, 2007).  Philosophical views, theories, as well as past and present practices have and continue to show support of this type of social-emotional approach to learning.  Payne et al. (2006) also placed emphasis on understanding a person’s background in order to form a relationship.  The RC Approach expresses this concept in paying particular attention to the students’ family, social, and cultural backgrounds (Rimm-Kaufman, et al., 2007).  This is vital to the success of the students.  If they are not approached with genuine concern and understanding, their learning is at risk.  This understanding should begin with the teacher’s concern of the students’ family influences and then proceed to other factors and influences.  This was stated well in the book, Bridges out of Poverty.  “To honor clients as human beings worthy of respect and care is to establish a relationship that will provide for enhanced learning and achievement” (Payne, et al., 2006, p. 148).  Thus, the Responsive Classroom Approach could be especially beneficial to student learning.  Its success, thus far, has been attributed to the classroom being based on a structured, caring environment, which increases engagement in the learning process, teaches students to regulate their own behaviors, and motivates them to learn, all of which increase academic achievement (Rimm-Kaufman, et al., 2007).  This approach

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