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Simulating Poverty

Simulating Poverty

If you have not experienced poverty, it can be difficult to truly appreciate the extreme challenges of
survival. This can be especially true for your students as you work to build classroom community in
diverse areas where not all students have the same life experiences. One way to help students develop
an understanding of others� challenges is to have them �walk in others� shoes� by trying to
experience a bit of another’s circumstances. For this post, you will choose one of several documentaries

to develop a better understanding of these experiences.

Listen to and review Poor Children

Consider the following questions as you reflect on this activity, and address your thoughts in 2-3

substantive paragraphs:

What did you learn that could affect your professional practices/responses when dealing with students,

families, and communities in poverty?

How can you make sure all students, regardless of backgrounds, are able to understand the context of

poverty in ways that support the community of learners?

Simulating Poverty

The main thing that I have leant from this activity that could affect my professional
practice when dealing with students, families, and communities in poverty is that students’
economic backgrounds have an impact on their academic performance. Ideally, students from
poor families tend to perform poorly as compared to their counterparts from rich families. The
teacher should, therefore, strive to provide poor students with resources that may help them meet
their basic needs to boost their academic performance. As a teacher, I will provide students with
stationary and free lunch to accommodate them in the classroom. To prevent poor students from
living in isolation due to lack of proper clothing, I will work in collaboration with the district to
provide them with school uniform to help them feel confident like their colleagues from rich
families (Blankstein, Noguera and Kelly, 2016).

Since a majority of students in public schools are poor children, I will make sure all
students, regardless of backgrounds, can understand the context of poverty in ways that support
the community of learners (Scott, 2016). I will achieve this by using learning activities that help
all learners to understand the pain felt by poor children whenever they are unable to get access to
certain resources due to limited finances. I will divide students into two groups after which I will
give one group 350 United States dollars and the other group 100 United States dollars. I will
then ask students to go to the market and purchase a small blanket that matches the value of
money they have, and that they would use to protect a doll from cold. Ultimately, both groups
will perfectly protect their dolls from cold, but with blankets of different qualities. I will use this
activity to explain to learners that poor students can accomplish tasks effectively just like their
counterparts from rich families. The only challenge that poor students face is the lack of finances
to purchase resources that they may require performing individual tasks.


Blankstein, A. M., Noguera, P., & Kelly, L. (2016). Excellence through Equity: Five principles
of courageous leadership to guide achievement for every student. Alexandria, VA:
Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. ISBN: 978-1-4166-2250-5.
Scott, A. (2016). Poor children, a new majority in public schools.

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