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This creative teaching unit uses a multidisciplinary instructional strategy to actively engage learners in analyzing and describing the issue of global inequality. Data from Oxfam’s “Young Lives” international research project which examined childhood poverty in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam, forms the basis of a series of math activities that focus on statistics, numeracy and measurement. Using these relevant case studies provides an authentic context for meaningful dialogue where students are able to:
This resource provides a great opportunity for a teacher to offer a multi-disciplinary unit in which students use math skills such as comparing and ordering, evaluating graphical data, measuring time and distance and problem solving to explore the theme of inequality and the social costs of poverty.
The reflection and sharing component provides an entry point for a number of classroom projects. Students could offer weekly reading sessions to pre-school children and their parents or organize after school sports events. Access to clean drinking water could become the basis of a school collaborative program whereby students link with a non-profit organization to help purchase a community well for a region where safe water access is limited.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Very Good|
Cultural diversity is respected as students reflect upon the concerns and hopes of children from other regions of the world. Pupils are also actively encouraged to examine and challenge preconceptions about poverty.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
Students learn that extreme poverty leads to a whole range of social and environmental issues beyond the immediate daily requirements of food, shelter and water. Citizens who cannot obtain an education are unable to secure stable employment which affects local economies. Poorer countries cannot sustain infrastructure to address human induced environmental problems like water pollution.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Learners will gain an understanding of how poverty is impacted by the relationship between governments, global economies and resource allocation.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
The closing lessons have students reflect upon their new learning about inequality by planning effective approaches to raising awareness about this issue within their community. This exercise provides an opportunity for students to initiate a locally-based project to inform peers and other community members about how they can help support poverty reduction efforts around the world.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
Students are able to strengthen and act upon core ethical values such as respect, fairness and compassion as they recognize the interdependence between humans and their environment.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Very Good|
This resource actively promotes respect for the children living in each of the described countries. As students compare their own lives with those of others they will develop more profound insight into the hardships of people living in extreme poverty.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Poor/Not considered|
During the discussions surrounding personal well-being many Canadian students might consider our country’s abundant wilderness as an important factor in their life. A class could explore this topic further by comparing and contrasting rural and urban living.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Because students are asked to describe their own life in comparison to less fortunate children they will gain a deeper appreciation for their family and community which translates into a more meaningful experience.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
The graphical approach used in the activities provides many opportunities to evaluate historical and future data trends. For example, students could investigate historical infant mortality rates in a country like Ethiopia to determine how food support programs have helped citizens.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
A collaborative learning environment fosters open discussions about poverty where students are able to freely express opinions.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning||Very Good|
This resource supports math outcomes related to data management, percentages, comparing and ordering numbers and measuring time and distance. There are strong connections to Social Studies outcomes that investigate cultural diversity, children’s rights and poverty. Citizen engagement and oral communication skills are also encouraged through reflection and planning of public awareness strategies.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Although much of the learning is teacher directed there is a great deal of peer to peer interaction which facilitates questioning and encourages inquiry.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
|Differentiated Instruction||Very Good|
Differentiation strategies have been included with some of the activities. Suggestions for adaptations focus on students who may have difficulties with math or require more intensive and challenging lessons.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The hands-on math approach provides opportunities to apply new learning in an authentic and meaningful context.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
A think-pair-share strategy is used to facilitate peer to peer interactions. Students also work in groups to produce data and graphs.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
No formal assessment tools have been included with the resource although the activity sheets and reflection questions provide excellent formative assessment tools.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
The math activities provide a great opportunity for some peer tutoring where skilled students are able to support and lead others. Students also work cooperatively to develop communication tools to inform peers and the community about the topic.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
The data and information that comes from accurate sources and activities like reading a 24-hour clock have a practical application. Selecting child poverty as the theme also means that this learning unit will be particularly significant to students of similar ages.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Satisfactory|
In the "Reflection and Sharing" lessons students identify and develop ideas to communicate their new learning to the wider community. This provides the entry point for further student directed research to develop and implement projects that focus on increasing awareness of children’s rights.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|