Pat Conover: Sharing the Journey
First Session Preparation

Lake Atitlan
Seekers Church School of Christian Living
Pat Conover

I am looking forward to sharing this class with you. The class on Understanding Poverty is aimed at a lot more than merely learning some facts about poverty.
the multiple paths for moving into poverty and out of poverty,
distinguishing and then relating objective factors such as the official and optional measures of unemployment and under-employment,
from subjective factors such as habits and culture,
factors like family dynamics that are both objective and subjective,
economic factors affecting employment, benefits, and stability,
political factors including anti-poverty programs, economic regulations, taxes, etc.
the difference between individual factors (a plumber's skill level) and group factors (controls on the number of plumbers).
And more...

A six week class is not nearly long enough to get a strong understanding of poverty. I have studied poverty for many years and there are still kinds of poverty that I know I do not understand very well. What we will do in this class is practice learning about poverty. Each class member will be asked to pick a particular kind of poverty to learn about. I will do what I can to help each class member quickly find sources for learning, mostly web sites. In addition to just reading a web site class members can contact an organization putting up a web site to get additional guidance for learning. Class members without familiarity in web based learning can ask for tutorial help.

The six class sessions will be aimed at helping you figure out how to best self-direct your learning and then to share and compare your experience, your epiphanies, your surprises, the uncovering of deeper questions, and what you will be learning in the way of facts and understandings of those. If you were to choose to learn about the poverty of Native Americans in urban settings, for example, you can expect to become pretty well informed on that subject and also to appreciate how the facts and causes of such poverty are like and unlike the kinds of poverty studied by other class members. It is perfectly fine if you choose to adjust the focus of your learning as you gain experience in a particular line of study. Maybe you will want to focus in on Native Americans in urban settings that come from poor tribes. Maybe you will want to expand your focus to include native peoples in Hawaii and Alaska who do not meet federal standards for being counted as Native Americans.

Please complete the Poverty Budget Exercise as homework before the first class. Don't worry too much about accuracy. Just do the best you can. Improving your answers and comparing your answers will be part of the learning in class. You can get access to relevant rental costs in the Washington, DC metro area from Craig's List, particularly

Pat Conover

Biography | What's New | Leave a Comment | View Comments | Fair Use Policy

Search this site or the web powered by FreeFind

Site search Web search