Poverty and Education: Preparing Teacher Candidates for Economically Diverse Classroom Environments
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The poverty rate in Ontario affects approximately 1 in 6 children. Consequently, many classrooms in the province include students who come from poverty, and teachers are faced with the challenge of providing an equitable education to students who come from economically diverse backgrounds. Because student poverty in our education system is so prevalent, this challenge exists also for teacher candidates who enter the education system and complete their practicums in classrooms that often include students from impoverished backgrounds. This project examined issues of poverty and education and developed a workshop to assist teacher candidates to develop knowledge in this area. The project combined existing pedagogical approaches with participants’ recommendations and developed a workshop that could be delivered to Faculty of Education students. The workshop addresses poverty, the relationship between poverty and education, student academic achievement and well-being, and the relationship between school and home. The goal and hope of the workshop is that teacher candidates will be better prepared when working in economically diverse school environments.