Ruby Payne - AEI Speakers Bureau

Ruby Payne Biography

Ruby Payne

Ruby Payne, Ph.D., author, speaker, publisher, business owner and career educator, is an expert on the mindsets of economic classes and on crossing socioeconomic lines in education, work, and for social change.

Dr. Ruby Payne's work stems from more than 30 years of first-hand experience in the public schools, as head school department head, principal, and central office administrator of staff development. She became known for helping students from all economic backgrounds to achieve academic success. She received her B.A. from Goshen (IN) College, earned a master's degree in English Literature from Western Michigan University, and her doctorate in Educational Leadership & Policy from Loyola University in Illinois.

Ruby Payne has written or co-authored more than a dozen books - with her foundational work, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, having sold over 1,000,000 copies. As founder and president of aha! Process, Inc., she has published more than 60 books and audio-visual products. Dr. Ruby Payne presents her work throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, India and China. Ruby Payne presents a variety of workshops based on her book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, together with her strategies for successfully raising student achievement and negotiating economic class barriers.

Ruby Payne Topics

  • A Framework for Understanding Poverty
    How economic class affects behaviors and mind sets, why students from generational poverty often fear being educated, the "hidden rules" within economic classes, discipline interventions that improve behavior, and the eight resources that make a difference in success. Related discussions also include case studies, support systems, the role of language registers, discourse patterns and story structure, and the relationship between eye movement and learning. This training seminar is designed for 1 or 2 days with both elementary and secondary level educators with adaption and application for community, social service and faith community audiences
  • Learning Structures
  • Meeting Standards and Raising Test Scores When You Don't Have Much Time or Money
    Meeting Standards is designed to use existing teacher expertise to raise student achievement. The processes are simple, easy to implement and get results fast! Implementation directions and sample materials are provided in this workshop that may be reproduced without cost or copyright violation. It is recommended that participants attend as a grade level, department or campus vertical team, along with a campus administrator, but not required.
  • Application of Learning Structures Through Classroom Strategies
  • Collaboration for Kids: Early Intervention Tools
  • Removing The Mask: Identifying and Serving Gifted Students from Poverty
  • Hear Our Cry: Boys in Crisis
  • Tucker Signing Strategies for Reading
    This training workshop provides participants with a powerful supplemental strategy for decoding that can be used in conjunction with any conventional reading program. It uses a system of 44 hand signs that prompt associations between letters or word chunks and the sounds they represent. This is a strategy that children enjoy, and appeals to reluctant readers, boys, excessively active children, and those with learning disabilities as well as the average reader. Readers see the letter, sign the sound and say the sound at the same time: this multi-sensory combination provides success to readers who have not succeeded before. Tucker Signs provide the mental model that children of poverty need in order to succeed in reading, while giving the observer insight into what is going on in the reader’s mind. This strategy moves the responsibility of decoding unfamiliar words from the teacher to the child. It can be used with students of any age who read between kindergarten and fourth-grade level.
  • Living on a Tightrope
  • Math Strategies/Problem Solving for the Elementary Classroom
    This presentation focuses on a variety of mental models for elementary math. Participants learn that when mental models are taught directly to the students they are able to learn and retain concepts much more quickly. A problem solving process will be presented which requires the students to plan, label and sort information. This process is used as a method to control students’ impulsivity and therefore increase their success in math. This method of teaching problem solving has been especially effective with students who are struggling in understanding basic math skills. The workshop is designed for math teachers of elementary school students, with audiences of Grades K-2 or 3-5.
  • Think Rather of Zebra: Dealing with Aspects of Poverty Through Story
  • A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
  • Application of Learning Structures for English, Math, Science or Social Studies
  • Preventing School Violence by Creating Emotional Safety
    Strategies for establishing relationships of mutual respect among teachers, students, and parents, concentrating on the prevention of violence in schools.
  • Bridges Out of Poverty
    Increasing awareness of the differences in economic cultures; how those differences affect opportunities for success; developing an action plan to improve services to clients; improving retention rates for new hires from poverty.
  • Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World
  • Understanding Class for Law Enforcement
  • Parenting Someone Else's Child
  • What Every Church Member Should Know About Poverty
  • Hidden Rules of Class at Work
  • Response to Intervention
    In the Response to Intervention Workshop (RTI) Learn about the what, the why, and the how of response to intervention (RTI) and the under-resourced learner. This session will cover the components of RTI, student intervention teams, the rationale behind the RTI mandate, and the intervention process for student achievement. We will focus on the three tiers of intervention and the progress monitoring of student growth. The presentation will be completed with a summary of the day's discussion.


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