Reimagining the at-risk paradigm
The current at-risk conceptualization
What makes a student "at-risk?"
- English as a second language
- ethnic minority status
- low socio-economic status
- inadequate familial and community environment
- cognitive and behavioral difficulties
- low test scores
- history of discipline problems
- past retention
What are they at risk for?
- drug abuse
- teen pregnancy
- child abuse
- failure in school
- dropping out
- adult illiteracy
- unemployment or underemployment
and so we are in need a new conceptualization, a new paradigm
What makes a student "at-promise?"
- individual potential
- individual strengths
- individual interests
- cognitive abilities
- affective strengths
What can teachers do?
- focus on student strengths - and in order to do that, we must know student strengths!
- help students realize their own resilience
- make learning relevant and meaningful
- support students in learning to self-assess (Benard, n.d.)
Johnson, G. M. (2000). Improving the education of students at-risk at promise. Teacher Education Quarterly. Retrieved from http://www.teqjournal.org/backvols/2000/27_4/2000v27n404.PDF
Mathews, J. (November 15, 2009). Want to eliminate at-risk kids? Call them something else. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://voices.washingtonpost.com/class-struggle/2009/11/post_1.html
Sege, I. (May 20, 2012). Moving from "children at risk" to "children at promise." Eye on early education. Retrieved from http://eyeonearlyeducation.com/2012/05/30/moving-from-children-at-risk-to-children-at-promise/