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Personal Goal Statements: Poverty Issue
The issue of poverty is one of the most significant subjects to deal within order to equalize all the members of society. Moreover, poverty itself, being a serious negative restrictor of progress, stimulates the emergence of such problems as drug addiction, criminal local and global wars, lack of education, diseases, and epidemics. In particular, people from all over the world are encountering the problems of the so-called “digital divide,” economic crisis, racial discrimination including the institutional racism, political domination of certain nations over the other, high crime and substance addiction rates. These aspects altogether are constantly contributing to the rise of poverty and inequality among different communities, as some of them had been more successful in acquiring power from the historical perspective when it was time to conquer new territories. Thus, in order to be an effective educator regarding the issue of poverty, it is appropriate to investigate numbers of scientific articles on this subject, collect enough information to make sure that not only arguments but also contra-arguments are presented in the study. Except for scientific articles, an educator should have some personal experience in interviewing people who are suffering from poverty as well as interviewing politicians who have possibilities to make at least some decisions.
Proceeding from the information that poverty is a global problem, appearing in various types of land, from the mountains to plains and islands, it is essential to analyze the issue at certain levels: each country, culture, and ethnic group in separate paradigms. Despite its global influence, the phenomenon of poverty does not have absolutely equal origins in all countries. For instance, poverty among island tribal communities is engendered by the lack of development in culture, progress in technologies, and the absence of individual growth. According to Levine (2014), “Acemoglu and Robinson theorize that there are two kinds — “extractive” institutions in which a “small” group of individuals do their best to exploit the rest of the population, and “inclusive” institutions in which “many” people are included in the process of governing” (para. 1). Thus, the absence of “inclusive” institutions, in terms of which people are involved in the governmental process of social advancement, are playing a vital role in shaping the nation. On the contrary, “extractive” institutions lead to total poverty, as they are stealing from the ordinary members of society without giving them something in return. However, ordinary residents altogether are indeed the builders of nations.
To address the issue of poverty properly, it is necessary to study the already established and proved evidence. Nevertheless, even though some references had been written a long time ago, some of them may also serve as the source of information today since there is evidence which cannot grow older. Thus, due to the research conducted by D.S. Landes (1998), the environmental issues may also contribute to the appearance of poverty because natural peculiarities including climate, geographical position, a set of diseases characteristic of a certain territory, and many other aspects influence both the initial stages of the nation’s growth and its further stages as well. After all, precisely the beginning of any country’s development defines its further progress, despite the fact that empires like the Roman Empire, Empire of China, Egypt, Ottoman Empire, and other famous civilizations have ceased to exist almost on the pinnacle of advancement.
My weak points concerning teaching the issue of poverty are the absence of the possibility to travel over the world in search of appropriate interviewees to collect the needed data and the impossibility to connect influential politicians. Besides, while teaching students the problems regarding poverty, it is important to keep in mind that some of the statements can be offensive to pupils from different ethnic groups. Nonetheless, my strengths are able both to make amends for the incapability of collecting data on my own and even overshadow it due to the fact that almost all the necessary information on this topic has been already assembled in scientific resources for people’s use. Furthermore, I can employ digital resources, documental and artistic movies, games, interaction, podcasts, and invite an expert in the interested field of study in order to enhance the process of teaching. What I am planning to do is to arrange the schedule by splitting the classes into various topics depending on the cultural peculiarities of the studied regions. Therefore, among my professional goals to deal with are strict classification and systematization of the material on poverty, stimulation of pupils to study the material properly, motivate students to launch their own research based on this topic, and provide absolute adoption on a par with comprehension of the subject by means of implementing pedagogical strategies.
Goal One: Classification and Systematization of the Material on Poverty
First and foremost, being an educator, I am bound to collect data on the topic of interest so that the information can be adequately and effortlessly perceived by pupils. In fact, the educational issue regarding poverty is difficult to solve by utilizing only traditional methods of teaching. As a result, I would rather take unconventional steps and adopt modern educative models. In search of answers which allow educators to process an appropriate classification of collected data, it is required to address the scholarly articles on this subject. According to Aggarwal (2015), “Classification algorithms typically contain two phases: Training phase: in this phase, a model is constructed, from the training instances. Testing phase: in this phase, the model is used to assign a label to an unlabeled test instance” (p. 2). At this point, it is noteworthy that achieving this goal is important both for an educator and his or her students, seeing that the classified and systematized material is easier to understand, and thereby the teaching process becomes more successful. If an educator has not organized the issue in one’s own mind, he or she is not capable of teaching someone else. On the one hand, the classification of data allows educators to arrange the material in bullet points for simplification and underlining the most significant subtopics. On the other hand, of course, some nuances regarding details may be omitted due to the shortening of the information.
Secondly, although not always there is an opportunity to systematize too large amount of materials, there are many teaching methods which help educators with this difficulty. For example, Zehra Özdilek and Muhlis Özkan (2009) in their experiment have distinguished several such phases of conducting lessons: Engagement Phase, Exploration Phase, Explanation Phase, Elaboration Phase, Evaluation phase, Formal Evaluation (p. 4). Proceeding from these phases, the difficulty in following them lies in maintaining the full control over the class without changing the course of the subject. Poverty, as the combination of economic and political phenomena, is the result of destructive policies, so it is challenging enough to classify the mass of data regarding this issue. However, by means of presentations, podcasts, gaming activities, or dialogues together with splitting the material into a series of lessons, it will be real to accomplish the established tasks. Apart from the methods suggested by Zehra Özdilek and Muhlis Özkan, I would implement the method of inviting an expert in politics or economics to provide students with vivid examples. By the same token, the issue of poverty can be better explained by people involved in the process of economic and political decision-making, even if these individuals are not taking serious positions in the government or any official institutions.
Goal Two: Stimulation of Pupils to Study the Material
Stimulation plays a key role in the process of educating owing to the fact that even if the material has been given correctly and in accordance with all pedagogical rules, there still can be a chance that the lack of incentive will erase the learned information from the mind. The issue of poverty is of utmost significance because people from all over the world are suffering from low incomes, the absence of food and water, whereas the rest of the world, including social structures, governments, and institutions are getting richer on a daily basis. With this research, I purport to educate people who will be able to contribute to solving the problem of poverty. With similar intentions, one may need to investigate the concept of motivation. Thus, B. Hoffman (2015) assumes that: “In the classroom, learners exhibit a broad spectrum of topical interest and academic engagement ranging from intense focus measured by active involvement in learning to academic passivity whereby the learner is physically present but cognitively disengaged” (p. 7). The most compelling evidence we can derive from the quotation is the fact that not all pupils are equally concerned with the topic of discussion.
Thus, the difficulty on this point is that my weakness in strict position and persuasion can destructively interfere with my desire to motivate students. Being motivated myself, it has always been an issue to help motivate others. Subsequently, despite this weak aspect of mine, I hope that my energetic and positive attitude towards the subject will compensate for the lack of strictness. What is even more important, stimulation to study can be reached when demonstrating not only personal motivation but also the successful results of famous people. Under these circumstances, it will be appropriate to show some presentations about persons who have become popular because of their contribution to the eradication of poverty. Having underlined that one of the most frequent reasons for poverty appearance is either the lack or utter absence of education, it is necessary to show pictures of undeveloped countries where economy undergoes severe forms of crisis. Wrong political decisions or even intentionally harmful policies lead to the inception of poverty and its further development. Due to the theory of “extracting” institutions, the elite, which has occupied the territory and dominated the ruling, aims to steal from people by means of forcing them to labor without permitting them to use the received resources.
Goal Three: Motivate Students to Launch their Own Research
Aside from prompting pupils to successfully remembering and learning the material given during classes, it is also significant to allow them to launch their own investigations. Academic self-regulation will help students to educate themselves at home and outside the classes in general. Provided that pupils are interested in the research topic, poverty, in our case, self-education enables learners to elaborate personal goals to simplify the process of studying and helps understand what contribution a student can make to satisfy both one’s needs and the needs of society. According to Dembo and Seli (2016), “As you develop the personal qualities to manage your learning, you will find that you can apply the same skills to situations outside the classroom, even at work.” While studying or listening to the teacher, only the passive form of information adoption is working, but when a student is collecting data, investigating the interested issue, another form of information adoption is being included. By combining two forms of information adoption, more brain areas are engaged, which results in better learning. For this reason, I will aim to stimulate pupils to launch their own research which is somehow connected to the global issue of poverty, as there are indeed numbers of subtopics, either following the issue or preceding it.
At the present time, poverty can be considered as a phenomenon taking place wherever there are no universities or opportunities to study at, wherever governments are depriving people of the results of their own labor, and wherever people feel no motivation to create innovative products which will start the process of advancement. Regardless of the quantity of population, if there is no need for innovation, there will be no economic development. Such aspects as digital divide and discrimination on the point of ethnicity are among the first in the list of reasons for poverty. Ghettos and “inner cities” are provoking the emergence of drug wars, substance addiction, high crime rates. Moreover, the suicide rate among children is also one of the consequences of poverty, as parents are producing many children, whereas they have no capabilities to support them both financially and psychologically. As a result, children are being educated by the street mafia, especially in many Mexican cities. George L. Wilber in his research (2014) is confident that: “Achievement motivation is an important variable in the study of poverty in view of its direct relationship with economic development” (p. 125). While the children of politicians are studying at elite and rich universities, African youth are fighting for water just to survive on a daily basis. Consequently, the issue of poverty is in need of appropriate research, conducted by young scholars, to eradicate both the reasons and the outcomes of economic default.
Goal Four: Implementing Pedagogical Methods to deal with Poverty
Among all the existing teaching methods, it is required to distinguish the most useful in the conditions of a certain class. Due to the fact that there is no universal strategy which can be used for all students equally, it is dependent on the topic and the members of the class. Thus, among all strategies, or means, the most applicable to the subject of poverty are: discussions, case method, cooperative learning, integrating technologies, and even distance learning, although the latter is rather an exception than a rule. In terms of pedagogical methods, my addressing to scientific resources implies discovering the most comprehensible material. Besides, except for detecting the information, it will also be substantial to employ it during the lesson in the most effective way. To support my point of view, I will address the critical notion of Andrew P. Johnson (2017), “Each strategy should be adopted and adapted to meet the needs of the students with whom you are working as well as to achieve the specific purpose of the lesson” (p. 18). Subsequently, any method or strategy has to be chosen proceeding from the personal goals, skills, and motivations of students.
As the phenomenon of poverty is the result of economic and political failure only from the ordinary people’s perspective, it is the advantage from the standpoint of official institutions, seeing that they are earning money whenever residents are losing resources. To alter the problem and change it from all perspectives, I would recommend establishing at least some educational institutions in the smallest villages to supply people with knowledge because information is power. With the purpose of erasing poverty from human lives, medicine should be delivered to the same smallest villages on a par with water and food resources simply to satisfy the basic biological needs. The global economic inequality is continually being dictated by those who gain the direct profit from making people poor. Therefore, the research claims that the study of economic inequality consists in the investigation of differences within the population regarding the access to wealth and dominance over economic resources. If some dominant groups were able to spread the resources equally among the entire population, there would be no concentration of power and money in elite’s hands, while the rest of the country is suffering from starvation and thirst. My weak points at teaching this matter are the absence of private connections with politicians and experts in economics, but my strengths in the collection of material and appropriately chosen strategies will compensate for these weaknesses.
In conclusion, the issue of poverty can be derived from many resources, including the domination of small groups of people over the majority, the formation of “extractive” institutions, the natural peculiarities of a certain territory, the climate, the historical perspective which has resulted in the current state. Furthermore, to teach the problem of poverty and how to solve it, I will need to assemble and systematize the collected data, organize it in bullet points for the easier understanding of the subject, invite experts in politics and economics, employ various and most applicable pedagogical strategies. Apart from the aspects above, I would address the personal experience regarding teaching the critical issue of poverty. The educational factor is the most meaningful in terms of the origins of poor people. One time I had a discussion with a fellow on the question of poverty, and I persuaded him that educating the poor residents will enable them to think critically, and thus find out how to get access to resources which will enrich these people.
From an educational perspective, it is necessary to underline the role of eradicating the problems like any form of discrimination, including racial, gender, and others, economic inequality, regular either deliberate or unintentional incorrect decisions concerning global political problems. All these factors together are continually investing in the appearance of poverty in all the undeveloped countries of the world, as the plant is dominated by people who lack the feeling of justice. Only education is capable of solving the problem because when people are armed with information, they are free in thinking, full of innovative ideas, motivation to work for their own success without presenting other people with their work. Being an educator means to provide learners not only with the ready material but also demonstrate them that the teacher, together with a role of mediator, can also be a good example of what he or she is talking about during lessons. My personal goal statements imply that I will address the issue of poverty and teaching similar global problems by utilizing various pedagogical methods and means, trying to apply individual approaches.
- Aggarwal, C. (Ed.). (2015). Data Classification: Algorithms and Applications. Taylor & Francis Group.
- Dembo, M., & Seli, H. (2016). Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success: A Focus on Self-Regulated Learning. Routledge.
- Hoffman, B. (2015). Motivation for Learning and Performance. Elsevier.
- Johnson, A. (2017). Teaching Strategies for All Teachers: Enhancing the Most Significant Variable. Rowman & Littlefield.
- Landes, D. (1998). Wealth And Poverty Of Nations. Abacus.
- Levine, D. (2014, January 23). Why Do Nations Fail? Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-k-levine/why-nations-fail_b_2007916.html
- Özdilek, Z., & Özkan, M. (2009). The Effect of Applying Elements of Instructional Design on Teaching Material for the Subject of Classification of Matter. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 8(1), 1-13.
- Wilber, G. (2014). Poverty: A New Perspective. University Press of Kentucky.
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