The Global Search for Education: Poverty – What Would Teachers Do?

Sep 24, 2017 by

eight years old school girl

Ending poverty is our choice. All we need is fortitude; the will to say this will not happen in my community on my watch.

The world is making some progress to end extreme poverty but there is still so much more that needs to be done. One of the most stunning statistics you will find on this global epidemic is that children account for nearly half of the world’s extreme poor. Even in the world’s richest countries, 1 in 4 children live in poverty.

The role of education combined with other social sectors in eradicating poverty has been extensively researched, documented and recommended. This month we reach out to the world’s classrooms to talk more about poverty.

Our Global Teacher Bloggers are pioneers and innovators in fields such as technology integration, mathematics coaching, special needs education, science instruction, and gender equity. They have founded schools, written curricula, and led classrooms in 16 different countries that stretch across every populated continent on earth. We asked them to weigh in on this important question: How has poverty affected students in your school experiences? What Can Schools Do to Address Poverty?

“I am not sure what I hated the most, but I think it was the laughter,” writes Joe Fatheree (@josephfatheree), who was “a child of poverty” and who remembers his daily “walk of shame” in front of his peers. ”The bullying never stopped.” Join Joe’s new band of superheroes whose focus is to “empower the impoverished with the ability to take their rightful place with the rest of their peers on the global stage.” Read More.

“If the hurricanes are doing anything, they’re waking people to the realization that poverty is within anyone’s cone of possibility,” writes Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher). “Some children live in figurative hurricanes every single day. They live wondering if they’ll keep electricity, if they’ll have food, if their home can keep them safe from the storm that rages in their neighborhood.” Read More.

“In Finland, we can give equal possibilities in education to all students – in spite of where they live, how they live and the family status,” writes Maarit Rossi (@pathstomath). “I believe that education is the key for better life, too. I see no difference in ‘poor family’ kids or ‘rich family’ kids in their motivation to learn!” Read More.

“You know, it is not because he’s not smart. He is. But learning is nearly impossible when you are hungry or sick, and very difficult when the environment is preventing you from reaching your potential,” writes Eliza Guerra Cruz (@ElisaGuerraCruz). “Every child bears the seed of genius within, and disadvantaged children are not too poor to be bright – they are too precious to be lost.” Read More.

“In my hometown of Framingham, Massachusetts, Alicia and David Blais have taken it upon themselves to confront the challenge of feeding all of Framingham’s hungry children and adults and they are succeeding,” writes Adam Steiner (@steineredtech). “This a lesson worth considering in every town and city in this country.” Read More.

“Solving poverty is not the prerogative of educators but equalizing every student’s opportunity for success in the classroom is,” writes Craig Kemp (@mrkempnz). “It is our job to turn negativity into positivity and light up the world with a kind heart. Make a change and teach your students how to make a difference in the world we live!” Read More.

“Close the (wealth) gap through negotiated learning,” writes Richard Wells (@EduWells). “By using systems designed around the individual, students can build on their own experiences and knowledge rather than feeling the failure of not fitting a mould. This way education will start to succeed in it’s duty to level the playing field for children suffering poverty.” Read More.

The UN’s Human Development Index in 2000 ranks Sierra Leone as the 9th poorest country in the world. “Our concern must be for education to be more than just the qualifications and connections that will pull the individual out of poverty, but instead a concerted community effort to acquire the knowledge, skills and values that will transform society,” writes Miriam Mason-Sesay (@EducAidSL). Read More.

“I instituted an annual community walk for my entire staff, so they could experience, even if for only one-day, the living conditions and lack of opportunities that exist throughout Brownsville,” writes Nadia Lopez.(@TheLopezEffect). “Many of the teachers made assumptions about the scholars prior knowledge and their ability to access simple things like a library, bookstores, computer centers, and even fresh fruits or vegetables.” Read More.

The Top Global Teacher Bloggers is a monthly series where educators across the globe offer experienced yet unique takes on today’s most important topics. CMRubinWorld utilizes the platform to propagate the voices of the most indispensable people of our learning institutions – teachers.

(All pictures are courtesy of CMRubinWorld)


Top Row L to R: Adam Steiner, Shaelynn Fransworth, Pauline Hawkins, Kazuya Takahashi

2nd Row L to R: Elisa Guerra, Jasper Rijpma , C.M. Rubin, Carl Hooker, Warren Sparrow

3rd Row L to R: Nadia Lopez, Joe Fatheree, Craig Kemp, Rashmi Kathuria, Maarit Rossi

Bottom Row L to R: Jim Tuscano, Richard Wells, Abeer Qunaibi, Vicki Davis, Miriam Mason-Sesay



Join me and globally renowned thought leaders including Sir Michael Barber (UK), Dr. Michael Block (U.S.), Dr. Leon Botstein (U.S.), Professor Clay Christensen (U.S.), Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (U.S.), Dr. MadhavChavan (India), Professor Michael Fullan (Canada), Professor Howard Gardner (U.S.), Professor Andy Hargreaves (U.S.), Professor Yvonne Hellman (The Netherlands), Professor Kristin Helstad (Norway), Jean Hendrickson (U.S.), Professor Rose Hipkins (New Zealand), Professor Cornelia Hoogland (Canada), Honourable Jeff Johnson (Canada), Mme. Chantal Kaufmann (Belgium), Dr. EijaKauppinen (Finland), State Secretary TapioKosunen (Finland), Professor Dominique Lafontaine (Belgium), Professor Hugh Lauder (UK), Lord Ken Macdonald (UK), Professor Geoff Masters (Australia), Professor Barry McGaw (Australia), Shiv Nadar (India), Professor R. Natarajan (India), Dr. Pak Tee Ng (Singapore), Dr. Denise Pope (US), Sridhar Rajagopalan (India), Dr. Diane Ravitch (U.S.), Richard Wilson Riley (U.S.), Sir Ken Robinson (UK), Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Finland), Professor Manabu Sato (Japan), Andreas Schleicher (PISA, OECD), Dr. Anthony Seldon (UK), Dr. David Shaffer (U.S.), Dr. Kirsten Sivesind (Norway), Chancellor Stephen Spahn (U.S.), Yves Theze (LyceeFrancais U.S.), Professor Charles Ungerleider (Canada), Professor Tony Wagner (U.S.), Sir David Watson (UK), Professor Dylan Wiliam (UK), Dr. Mark Wormald (UK), Professor Theo Wubbels (The Netherlands), Professor Michael Young (UK), and Professor Minxuan Zhang (China) as they explore the big picture education questions that all nations face today.

The Global Search for Education Community Page

C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, “The Global Search for Education” and “How Will We Read?” She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.

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