A Public Service Announcement! ;)

A Public Service Announcement! ;)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Poverty and the Brain

It took me a long time to realize we grew up poor. My mother, like so many other Americans, would tell me, "Well, there are people who surely have more than we do, but there are people who have a lot less than we do too, so we must be middle class" once I got around to asking questions, and I believed her for a long time.

As an adult and as an academic, though, I now see the impact that being raised in poverty has had on my development and on my world view. A growing body of evidence is suggesting that poverty has a major impact on the brain development of children. Partly because children in poverty-stricken homes have so few quality verbal and reading interactions, areas of their brains don't function as well as they should.
Now, how does this possibly tie into a blog focusing on comics and education? Perhaps in the past you've been , or at least you know or have known, a teacher who did or does not allow certain types of literature in his/her classroom, under the ideology that not all text can be considered literature. One thing I glean from these types of studies is a greater appreciation for accepting all texts, comics included, in the classroom, because the textual interactions we allow our students to have may be among the best or only ones to which some of them have access.

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