Who: Teachers from across the region (and beyond) are welcome.
What: Read and discuss Culture, Poverty, and Education: What’s Happening in Today’s Schools by Michele Wages. Discuss how myths about poverty build and perpetuate barriers to education. Discuss the role of classism and economics in how students are educated. Share ideas for working together to overcome these barriers and inequities.
We will discuss and debunk the following myths about people in poverty. Since the author is writing from an American point of view, we’ll bring our own experiences as teachers in Northern BC into the conversation as much as possible as we explore these and other themes of the text.
- Poor people are unmotivated and have low work ethic?
- Poor people are linguistically deficient?
- Poor people tend to abuse drugs and alcohol?
- Poverty has a lasting impact on children?
Where: Meetings are via Zoom. The Zoom link will be emailed to participants.
When: Starts Tuesday March 30, then continues every other Tuesday for a total of six sessions, from 7:30-8:30 PM for each session (it is okay if you join later in the series or if you miss sessions).
PDF: Download the flier (PDF) here.
- March 30, 2021 @ 7:30 (Introduction)
- April 13, 2021 @ 7:30 (Chapter 1 and Chapter 2)
- April 27, 2021 @ 7:30 (Chapter 3 and Chapter 4)
- May 11, 2021 @ 7:30 (Chapter 5 and Chapter 6)
- May 25, 2021 @ 7:30 (Chapter 7 and Chapter 8)
- June 8, 2021 @ 7:30 (Chapter 9 and Chapter 10)
- Email email@example.com for the Zoom information and links.
- Order the book in advance of the first session. You can order from any bookseller. (Amazon.ca link.)
About the Book
Most changes in education—including the rise of standardized testing, holding teachers accountable for their students’ academic performance, and rewriting math and reading standards—don’t address poverty. Understanding the relationship between poverty, class, and education for decades has been framed through studies on the behaviour and culture of poor students and their families. Educators are caught up in the history of classism and are often guilty of buying into the mindset—including the implementation of activities and strategies for working with ‘parents’ in poverty or ‘students’ in poverty—that leads them to believe in the need to ‘fix’ the poor instead of eliminating the inequities that oppress them. So it is not just one or the other; nature or nurture, poor or not poor. Poverty is a potential outcome for all of us. Culture, Poverty, and Education: What’s Happening in Today’s Schools? is intended to not only discuss 5 myths about the culture of poverty and its effects on education, but provide some resources on alternatives for educator’s to better address this growing barrier to student achievement in today’s schools.