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Re: Re: but Ruby Payne promotes empathy and allows dialogue

Posted By: Teddi Beam-Conroy on October 14, 2007
But Ruby Payne has little life experience working with students in poverty. If you consult her website, she claims that her research is based in a 30+ year ethnographic study of a community in poverty - which is later revealed to be the one her ex-husband was from. She does not claim years of experience as a classroom teacher or administrator in poor schools. If she did have that expertise, don't you think she would claim it?

Moreover, she describes the community as having 50-70 residents who were mostly white, with some Native American ancestry, and a few Hispanics. So, who or what informs Payne's scenarios about African Americans? As a Black woman, an educator who has spent my entire career in schools impacted by poverty, this concerns me greatly.

If pointing out these inconsistencies constitutes academic snobbery, then count me in. After undergoing training in the Ruby Payne Framework (in three different settings, one of them with Payne herself) there was a feeling in my gut that something wasn't right. I decided to take on looking closer at what that was as a project for a graduate class I was taking. The above are only a few of the insights I made in the course of that study. I know that teachers say that Payne has helped them better understand their economically oppressed students, and if these understandings are based on such incomplete information, I am concerned about just what they believe they now know. I am left wondering why we need a third party, who has never met the students with whom we interact, to tell us about people who are close enough for us to ask.
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 but Ruby Payne promotes empathy and allows dialogue by Veronica Barlee on September 6, 2007
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