On April 11, 1734, a tiny notice appeared in the small corner of the Pennsylvania Gazette owned by Benjamin Franklin that read, “Ready money for old rags”. People poured in just as expected. Franklin, the entrepreneur extraordinaire, who also held a license to print paper currency, began to send these rags to the mill he owned to convert it into paper money; thus popularizing the notion, rags to riches. Since then, the American psyche has been steeped into the belief that everyone who has the will and the self-control to influence their life can rise above all odds; including poverty and socio-economic disparity.
On this podcast, Dr. Julie Ann Washington from Georgia State University talks about the idea that not only that all learners are not created equal, but neither are their learning environments and many are detrimental to a child’s future. In a society that values autonomy, agency, and everything that says self-made, parents and educators are trying their best to reconcile with those who are simply flailing around. The brain’s Executive Function guides and redirects behaviors and attitudes towards goal-oriented actions and flailing around is a sign of the brain not doing too well. Dr. Washington invites us to dive deep into the complexities of educating the marginalized and the disadvantaged.
About Dr. Julie Washington
Dr. Julie Washington is a Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Special Education and Communication Disorders in the College of Education and Human Development at Georgia State University (GSU) in Atlanta. She is also Director of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program. Dr. Washington is an affiliate faculty of Georgia State University’s Center for Research on the Challenges of Acquiring Language and Literacy Currently, Dr. Washington’s research is focused on understanding the role of cultural dialect in the identification of Learning Disabilities in school-aged African American children and on disentangling the relationship between language production and comprehension on development of reading skills for children growing up in poverty. Dr. Washington’s research program is funded by the National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute on Child Health and Human Development.
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