Responding to a pedagogy of poverty

08 October 2012

Professor Liz McKinley, Director of the Starpath Project, believes New Zealand needs a different approach if it is ever going to address the link between poverty and low academic achievement in our schools.

“We need to ensure we have teachers who are able to respond to a pedagogy of poverty,” she said yesterday on RadioNZ’s popular Insight programme. “One-off interventions in our schools don’t work. We need to think more carefully about the pedagogies we use in schools that serve our low socio-economic communities.”

Professor McKinley joined a host of policy makers, teachers and academics, including Professor Stuart McNaughton from the Woolf Fisher Research Centre to discuss why the link between low income and underachievement is so strong in New Zealand.

Many of the experts agreed that schools can help stop poverty undermining their learning. They also agreed that schools can’t do it all on their own and policy makers need to address health and social issues too to ensure a level playing field for our children.