Last Updated: Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Poverty and Schooling: Where Mindset Meets Practice (2015)

What is this?

​A short research summary from Ontario, which explores what poverty looks like and which discusses a range of strategies to address the inequities often associated with poverty and schooling. Recommended strategies include enhancing teachers’ awareness of poverty, building school culture and enhancing professional practice in the classroom.

Who is this for?

​Teachers, practitioners and others who are involved in planning or supporting learning for children, young people and families living in poverty.

​About this research

How was the research carried out?

This report is based on research identified as providing evidence of promising teaching practice at the classroom level.

What are the strengths of the research methodology?

Research summaries can provide a useful overview of a particular topic as well as highlighting potential areas to explore and providing additional references for further reading.

What is the context for this research?

The strategies discussed were developed to address perceived weaknesses in the system including inequity in student achievement, low confidence in public education and concerns regarding overall student achievement results. This briefing is one of a collection of research summaries produced  to support the application of research into practice. It is important to be aware that due to the different policy and educational context in Ontario, the findings may need to be contextualised for application in Scotland.

Reflective questions

The following questions may provide a stimulus for discussion:

  • What school-based strategies to address inequity are you aware of?
  • How could your setting build a school culture that promotes partnership with families and the community?

About the author(s)

This monograph was produced by a partnership between the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat and the Ontario Association of Deans of Education Research, and written by Darlene Ciuffetelli Parker (Brock University).

Related research/reading

Coghlan, M., Bergeron, C., White, K., Sharp, C., Morris, M. and Wilson, R. (2010). Narrowing the Gap in Outcomes for Young Children Through Effective Practices in the Early Years. London: Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People's Services.

Glaze, A. (2013). How Ontario Spread Successful Practices Across 5,000 Schools. Kappan Magazine.

Ellis,S. and Sosu, E. (2014). Closing the Attainment Gap in Scottish Education. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation


This research was not commissioned by Education Scotland and the findings, recommendations and conclusions do not necessarily reflect the views of Education Scotland.

Full reference

Ciuffetelli Parker, D. (2015).  Poverty and Schooling: Where Mindset Meets Practice. Toronto: Ontario Ministry of Education.

Link(s) to full research article

Poverty and Schooling: Where Mindset Meets Practice - full report