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Ruby K. Payne

Ruby K. Payne

American writer
Ruby K. Payne
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American writer
Is Writer Author
From United States of America
Type Literature
Gender female
The details


Ruby K. Payne is an American educator and author best known for her book A Framework for Understanding Poverty and her work on the culture of poverty and its relation to education. She holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies from Loyola University in Illinois, and is the founder of aha! Process, Inc., a company that informs schools, companies and other organizations about poverty.

A Framework for Understanding Poverty

Payne's book, which has sold over one million copies, deals heavily with the concept of "hidden rules," characteristics that a member of one of the three main social classes (upper, middle and lower) possesses that makes communicating and relating to members of the other classes difficult.


Many education professionals, such as Paul Gorski, assistant professor at New Century College at George Mason University, are openly critical of Payne's work, stating that her premises are based on stereotypes and accusing her of classism. Gorski also believes the educational field accepted her ideas too readily, without the proper critical analysis, as Payne's work is self-published and has not undergone the rigorous peer-review process usually required of professional academics. An article by Gorski and one by University of Kansas education professors Jennifer C. Ng & John L. Rury (2006) in the Teachers College Record, entitled "Poverty and Education: A Critical Analysis of the Ruby Payne Phenomenon", began a heated debate between Payne and her supporters, and her numerous detractors in the mainstream academic community. A more extensive article critical of Payne's work was published by Randy Bomer, Joel E. Dworin, Laura May & Peggy Semingson of the University of Texas in 2008, also in Teachers College Record, with a response from Payne and a rejoinder from the authors. Ng and Rury also published a critical article in the online Journal of Educational Controversy in 2009.

List of works by Payne[8]


All books published by aha! Process except where otherwise noted.

  • A Framework for Understanding Poverty. Baytown, TX: RFT, 1995
  • A Framework for Understanding Poverty Workbook. Baytown, TX: RFT, 1998
  • Learning Structures. Baytown, TX: RFT, 1998
  • Think Rather of Zebra: Dealing with Aspects of Poverty Through Story, with Jay Stailey. Baytown, TX: RFT, 1998
  • Bridges out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities, with Philip DeVol and Terie Dreussi-Smith. Baytown, TX: RFT, 1999
  • Removing the Mask: Giftedness in Poverty, with Paul Slocumb. Baytown, TX: RFT, 1999
  • What Every Church Member Should Know About Poverty, with Bill Ehlig. Baytown, TX: RFT, 1999
  • Living on a Tightrope: A Survival Handbook for Principals, with William Sommers (2000)
  • Understanding Learning: The How, the Why, the What (2001)
  • Hidden Rules of Class at Work, with Don Krabill (2002)
  • Crossing the Tracks for Love: What to Do When You and Your Partner Grew up in Different Worlds (2005)
  • Learning Structures, third revised edition (2005)
  • Working with Students: Discipline Strategies for the Classroom (2005)
  • Bridges out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities, third revised edition, with Philip DeVol and Terie Dreussi-Smith (2006)
  • Bridges out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities Workbook, with Philip DeVol and Terie Dreussi-Smith (2006)
  • Working with Parents: Building Relationships for Student Success (2006)
  • Under-Resourced Learners: 8 Strategies to Boost Student Achievement (2008)
  • Research-Based Strategies: Narrowing the Achievement Gap for Under-Resourced Students (2009)
  • Boys in Poverty: A Framework for Understanding Dropout, with Paul Slocumb. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree, 2010
  • Removing the Mask: How to Identify and Develop Giftedness in Students from Poverty, revised edition, with Paul Slocumb (2010)
  • School Improvement: 9 Systemic Processes to Raise Achievement, with Donna Magee (2010)
  • From Understanding Poverty to Developing Human Capacity: Ruby Payne's Articles on Transforming Individuals, Families, Schools, Churches, and Communities (2012)
  • A Framework for Understanding Poverty Workbook: 10 Actions to Educate Students, revised edition (2012)
  • Achievement for All: Keys to Educating Middle Grades Students in Poverty. Westerville, OH: Association for Middle Level Educators (2013)
  • A Framework for Understanding Poverty: A Cognitive Approach, fifth revised edition (2013)
  • Bridges to Health and Healthcare: New Solutions for Improving Access and Services, with Terie Dreussi-Smith, Lucy Shaw, and Jan Young (2014)
  • How Much of Yourself Do You Own? A Process for Building Your Emotional Resources, with Emilia O'Neill Baker (2015)

Selected articles

  • "Effectively Communicating Standards to Parents: Standards Must Be in Lay Terms and Demonstrated to Parents in Order for Them to Understand How Their Children Are Doing." Leadership Compass, 4(2), 1–3. (2006)
  • "Six Basic Components of Classroom and Discipline Management." Instructional Leader, 20(1), 1–9. (2007)
  • "Health and Poverty Through the Lens of Economic Class: An Invitation to Healthcare Providers to Create New Models for Better Serving People in Poverty," with Philip DeVol. (2008)
  • "Nine Powerful Practices: Nine Strategies Help Raise the Achievement of Students Living in Poverty." Educational Leadership, 65(7), 48–52. (2008)
  • "The 10 Dynamics of Poverty: By Understanding the Barriers Created by Poverty, Schools Can Help Overcome Them." Leadership Compass, 6(4), 1–3. (2009)
  • "How the Environment of Poverty (Having Fewer Resources) Impacts Cognition and Learning." (2009)
  • "Impacting Two Generations at Once: Refocusing Parent Training to Develop Human Capacity and Community Sustainability," with Philip DeVol. Instructional Leader, 22(4), 3–5. (2009)
  • "Moving from Middle Class to Situational Poverty—from Stability to Instability: What You Can Do to Help Your Students and Parents During the Present Economic Downturn." Instructional Leader, 22(3), 1–4. (2009)
  • "What Can the Faith Community Do to Address Poverty? It Can Use a Human Capacity Model That Results in the Development of Resources." (2009)
  • "What Information Does A Framework for Understanding Poverty Have That Cannot Be Obtained Easily from Other Sources? Why Do Critics Love to Hate It and Practitioners Love to Use It?" (2009)
  • "When Discipline Issues Are Emotional Issues." Middle Ground, 16(3), 9–10. (2013)
  • "Working with Under-Resourced Gifted Students." AMLE Magazine, 1(3), 14-15. (2013)
  • "Are You Helping or Hurting Your Students?" AMLE Magazine, 1(6), 14-16. (2014)
  • "How to Make Working with Parents Work." AMLE Magazine, 1(7), 20-22. (2014)
  • "Calibrating Student Work to Drive Achievement." AMLE Magazine, 1(9), 14-15. (2014)
  • "School Improvement: A Process to Use at the District/Campus Level." SEEN: Southeast Education Network Magazine, 17(1), 40–41. (2015)
  • "BYOD? Issues for Students from Poverty." AMLE Magazine, 3(1), 23-24. (2015)
  • "How Do You Teach Kids from Poor Households About Money?" Youth Today. (2015, February 16)
  • "How to Develop Youth in Under-Resourced Neighborhoods." Youth Today. (2015, April 16)
  • "First-Generation College Students from Poverty Have Many Hurdles." Youth Today. (2015, November 30)
  • "Welcoming Highly Mobile Students." AMLE Magazine, 3(6), 10-12. (2016)
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 28 Jun 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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