Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Krashen on poverty

Let's deal with the cause of the problem

Sent to USA Today, December 9, 2008

Experts quoted in "Study: Poverty dramatically affects children's brains" (December 8) seem to think that the solution to poor brain development in children of poverty should consist of "interventions" that include "focused lessons and games" that need to be "incredibly intensive."
There is no suggestion that we deal directly with the cause of the problem.
As USA Today writer Greg Toppo notes, children of poverty suffer from malnutrition, stress, and highly toxic environments. Instead of torturing children with "incredibly intensive" drills and exercises, how about providing more and better food, cleaner air, and cleaner water? How about providing more access to books through improved libraries? How about insuring a safe environment where children can play outside without stress and fear?
The only problem with this solution: Less profit for textbook and software producers.

Stephen Krashen


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