Understanding and Teaching Students in Poverty

Professional Development
Graduate Credits: 
Offered by: 
Professional Development


Sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), this rich and rigorous course is designed to enable Massachusetts’ preK-12 educators to help close the achievement gap among students of disparate income groups. Participants will explore the complex political, sociocultural and neurophysiological concepts underpinning the challenging issue of providing an inclusive educational experience for all students to succeed. Frameworks, strategies and tools for teaching students living in poverty will be shared. Action research will lead teaching teams to be agents to further educational equity in their school communities. If a minimum registration and attendance requirement is met for the cohort, a teacher stipend may be available for participants.

Courses are held in two 6-hour sessions with 33 hours of on-line coursework and homework as follows:

Module 1: Defining poverty effects on learning - Face to Face Session
Module 2: Inclusive classroom strategies - On-line Session
Module 3: Investigating assets and issues - On-line Session
Module 4: Building resilience and collaboration - On-line Session
Module 5: Transformative inquiry - Face to Face Session

Participants who successfully complete the entire course may be eligible for a $100 stipend. Details will be provided on the first day of class.

Audience and Grade Level

Teachers; PreK - 12.


67.5 PDPs or 3 graduate credits will be awarded to participants upon completion of this course. Graduate credit is available through Lesley University at an additional cost of $500. Graduate credit registration and payment occurs at the first section meeting, and payment can be made by credit card or check at that time. 

Date and Location

Two sections of this course are being offered; one in the East and one in the West. Registrants should select from the drop-down menu for the geographic location they prefer. The below dates reflect the two 6-hour sessions; there is an additional 33 hours of on-line coursework and homework for each section.

  • Cambridge: September 22 and November 3, 2018, 9:00am - 4:00pm, at Lesley University, University Hall, 1815 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. (Register by September 14)
  • Northampton: February 9 and May 11, 2019, 9:00am - 4:00pm, at the Collaborative for Educational Services, 97 Hawley St., Northampton. (Register by February 1)

Cost and Registration

This course is sponsored by ESE and is free for participants. Please register using the form at the right-hand side of this page. 


  • Photo of Patricia Crain de Galarce

    Dr. Patricia Crain de Galarce is the Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education and the Director of the Center for Inclusive and Special Education at Lesley University. She began her career over thirty years ago, as an elementary, bilingual and special education teacher. She has taught almost every grade level from young children to graduate students in Massachusetts, DC, and Paraguay, South America.

  • Audrey Morse is a Curriculum and Instruction Specialist at the Collaborative for Educational Services. She has an extensive background in speech and language pathology, early language and literacy development, and ESL, in both education and clinical settings.She earned her M.S. from Purdue University, and her B.S. from Boston University.

For more information, contact:
Events Coordinator
413.586.4900 x5981