January 12

An interesting perspective….

We are studying inequality in Sociology and we started with the topic of poverty.  I am always on the lookout for teaching exercises or simulations to help the students really understand the topics we cover.

I found what I thought was a great poverty simulation and we carried it out in class.  Imagine my surprise when the majority of the students in the debriefing discussion said the exercise taught them nothing.  They could not relate to the idea of being poor in spite of the fact that they were given a lot of information on their role in the simulation.

I wonder if this is true because none of their families actually fall into this category and in our experience we can identify very few people in our community who actually are in this category.

Whether or not my evaluation is accurate or not, it did give me pause to think about how they view the world.  I have heard some people express the opinion that because our community is small–less than 2200 people–kids cannot experience the larger world.  Most of them travel for sports so they have seen much bigger communities.  This makes me think that argument is not accurate, but I am not sure.

I have also seen students graduate, to off to college and return after one or two years saying they didn’t know it was so expensive.  I wonder at this as well, since the costs are printed right on the college’s website and should be knowledge they have when they leave our community.

I am guessing that it all boils down to awareness.  If students don’t really become aware of their situation and the situations of others, it is no wonder they express these opinions.  I can only continue to try to help them develop awareness and hopefully, compassion.

Father, I am continually amazed by the comments of some of my students.  It urges me to do a better job of teaching them and trying to get them to understand not only themselves, but the world around them.  I know you are there to guide me and I am thankful.  Amen.

Proverbs 1:5; 10:17

 

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