Supporting Low-Income Students: A Retrospective Study of Positive Practices

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Hebert, Caitlin
low-income , retrospective , supporting students , socioeconomic status , positive practices , retired educators
Few studies have been conducted that examine the successful strategies educators use to promote the success of students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds within a Canadian context. The purpose of this qualitative study is to describe the support provided by retired educators to assist students from low-income backgrounds to achieve their potential and experience success. Six retired educators, each with over 20 years of experience, were recruited to participate in this study due to their in-depth personal experiences with students from low-income backgrounds. One open ended, semi-structured, individual online interview were conducted to elicit participant’s experience working with students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. A system of pattern coding was used to analyze the responses and establish the themes. Four main themes emerged from the analysis of the data: a) building relationships; (b) classroom practices and strategies; (c) perspectives on education; and (d) systemic barriers. Educators identified educational challenges low-income students were facing, in addition, to noting successful practices they use to combat barriers they encountered while working with this demographic of students. By understanding how educators positively influence motivation and engagement amongst their low-income students, future educators and administrators can utilize these practices to better support students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
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