Poverty Simulation: Promoting Perspective-Taking, Empathy, and Social Action
International Perspectives on Policies, Practices & Pedagogies for Promoting Social Responsibility in Higher Education
ISBN: 978-1-83909-855-0, eISBN: 978-1-83909-854-3
Publication date: 23 October 2020
This chapter presents a poverty simulation as a critical pedagogical tool that breaks down preconceptions and provides information about real-life challenges experienced by those who are poor. It allows students to develop the critical thinking skills, perspective-taking, and empathy. It provides an opportunity to take social and intellectual risks, and motivates civic engagement for positive social change. As such, this chapter contributes to the volume’s focus on curriculum and pedagogical changes using education to promote social change. Simulation participants attempt to successfully negotiate four 15-minute weeks within families of various sizes and resources. At the conclusion of the simulation, participants take a few minutes to reflect in writing on their experience. Students identify and discuss the social structures that they felt helped to perpetuate their poverty, as well as how micro-level interactions (i.e., with service providers, teachers, police, people in their neighborhood) affected their outcomes. Results show students increased understanding of the social issues contributing to poverty as well as consequences of poverty, and they report an increased desire to take action to affect positive social change in their community. The chapter concludes with thoughts and recommendations on how students from various disciplines could benefit from this poverty simulation.
Kelty, R., Angelis, K.D. and Blair, E. (2020), "Poverty Simulation: Promoting Perspective-Taking, Empathy, and Social Action", Sengupta, E., Blesinger, P. and Mahoney, C. (Ed.) International Perspectives on Policies, Practices & Pedagogies for Promoting Social Responsibility in Higher Education (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 32), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 117-132. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120200000032009
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