Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Television: A Learning Tool?

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2009 at 1:10 am

Televison Production and PlacementTelevision has always been viewed as a deterrent of learning.  Many teachers, parents, and the like have complained that television can limit a child’s potential to grow intellectually.   However, let’s discuss the importance of television from an impoverished family’s perspective.   As discussed in the earlier stages of this blog, children who come from low-income families oftentimes do not have the opportunity to go to summer camp, attend afterschool programs, and so forth.  Hence, they often stay at home during the summer and (if they are too young to work) may resort to watching television a great portion of the day.  I would be evading the truth if I said that television does not deter learning in some way.  However, if it is going to be around for the rest of time, one might as well use it as a learning tool.  Parents who cannot afford to send their child to afterschool or summer programs should make sure their children are watching education programs such as PBS, Discovery Channel, The History Channel, TLC, and so forth (…let me preface myself by staying that there may already be parents who are doing this). Furthermore, local libraries have dozens of educational videos available for use.  I am, by no means, suggesting that parents should conduct learning in any particular way. I just believe that if the existence of a lower-class is going is not going to go away anytime soon, than one should make the most of the resources available.  While this does not (and should not) replace the value of education programs, this could close the gap in learning amongst socioeconomic classes. Believe it or not, television can be used as a learning tool!


Making Work Pay

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2009 at 4:50 am

In order to properly address poverty, one must look at what the United States is doing right and wrong. Too often, politicians as well as everyday American citizens only focus on what the United States is doing wrong. We must remember that helping combat poverty for millions of Americans is not easy. While I don’t necessary endorse a particular way in addressing poverty, I feel that “making work pay” would be a good start. When this term is used, it usually refers to providing America’s homeless with incentive to work. It has been argued that investing in welfare programs is not enough. As the old adage states, we can either give people a fish or teach them how to fish! Making work pay will provide impoverished families with the resources to go out, find jobs, and better support themselves. When this is coupled with welfare programs, then America increases its potential to decrease poverty rates across the United States.

Unplanned and Early Pregnancies

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2009 at 4:15 am

Do preventing unplanned and early pregnancies really help impoverished families escape poverty’s grasp? And if so, should the government invest financial resources? Whether you affirm or negate the previous questions, studies do suggest that preventing unplanned pregnancies really do improve the status of families in poverty. However, research does not strongly support the notion that government funding toward preventing unplanned and pregnancies is beneficial. We are currently in a major economic crisis. Many would suggest that investing in something less tangible is a major risk. However, if the Obama Administration is already spending 878 million dollars to boost the economy, why not spend a little bit more to aid families living in poverty—this is just a thought. Moreover, it is important to recognize that money shouldn’t merely go toward providing financial aid to the lower classes. It should go towards means by which the lower classes are taught to escape poverty’s realm. The promotion of preventing unplanned and early pregnancies is merely an aspect to this agenda.

Benjamin Franklin Quote

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2009 at 4:29 am

ben-franklin-21“Poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue; it is hard for an empty bag to stand upright”

What do you think about this quote by Benjamin Franklin?

Learning beyond the Classroom

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2009 at 4:16 am


“What do children do when they are not in school? Children from prosperous circumstances are likely to spend much of their time in scheduled activities including organized after-school programs, sports, music lessons, and reading and writing groups among other things. Summertime is often organized around camps, or summer programs centered on nature and the environment, computer skills, and hobbies, or physical outdoor skills. Above all, most of these activities are structured and disciplined around teaching and learning” (Neuman). Unfortunately, children who live in impoverished homes oftentimes do not have the opportunity to acquire such learning skills during the summer. It would prove beneficial on multiple fronts if city and state governments would (better) fund summer programs attendance for the underprivileged. Not only would this provide an opportunity for disadvantaged children to learn during the summer, it would also create jobs (a much-needed commodity during the current economic state). Furthermore, children from all economic classes would immerse themselves in the lives of children from different economic backgrounds, thus creating greater cohesion amongst classes. Most importantly, expanding educational learning provides opportunities for the next generation to be able to completely address issues surrounding poverty in the United States of America.

One Size Does NOT Fit All!

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2009 at 3:42 am

Every classroom can be characterized by its great diversity of learners, including students who are learning English as their second language, students readying below grade level, students with behavioral problems, students from varied cultural backgrounds, and students who have learning disabilities. The challenge is in meeting the needs of a diverse student body who have widely divergent skills (Neuman). After delving into the literature on poverty, a common problem in American schools is that they are too often comprised of a “generic” education. Sure students need math, science, reading, and so forth. But there are skills many impoverished students need beyond those (such as “homemaking”). No, I cannot persuade on what is needed. It is up to school district to examine to expand the curriculum to better suit all students! No, one size does not (nor will it ever) fit all.

Samuel J. Eldersveld Quote

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2009 at 4:26 am


According to Samuel J. Eldersveld, the true test of the humaneness of a group, or society, or nation is how it cares from its poorest members. What do you think about this quote?

The Working Poor

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2009 at 4:11 am

The working poor are, as the phrase denotes, poor individuals who have been fortunate to obtain jobs. In the United States, there are approximately 2 million working poor (Davis). I am thrilled that the United States government has worked hard in trying to provide all Americans with jobs. However, the United States must do a better job of providing American citizens with jobs that enable them to rid themselves of that dreaded “impoverished” label. This entails: raising the minimum wage, expanding the work week, and so forth. Working and remaining poor is extremely unfortunate. It is horrible to believe that individuals work their fingers to the bones only to remain poor. This must change.


In Uncategorized on March 15, 2009 at 3:47 am

A fellow for the Brookings Institute makes an excellent point in that, “too many of our teens and young adults are having children before they are married and before they are ready to be good parents. In my view, the solution to this problem resides as much in the larger culture—in what parents, the media, faith communities and key adults say and do—as it does in any shift in government policy per se. However, government can help by providing resources to those fighting this battle in the nongovernmental sector, by insuring that its own policies do not inadvertently encourage childbearing outside of marriage, and by supporting programs that have had some success in reducing early, out-of-wedlock childbearing.”

This fellow makes an excellent point—not that I necessarily agree with this specific aspect of it. I agree with the underlying premise in that there are certain parts in the government’s social policy that does not fully encourage individuals to escape the realm of poverty. Many believe that if the government wants to help impoverished families, it needs to provide jobs, housing, and hope—nothing more, nothing less!


In Uncategorized on March 15, 2009 at 3:02 am

I strongly feel that reducing (and ending) poverty requires a focus both on what government needs to do as well as on what individuals need to do. We need a mixture of responsible policies and responsible behavior. However, I feel that the government should construct policies that provide opportunities for the poor to become responsible. It is quite difficult for the poor to become responsible if they have no money, no home, and so forth. It may prove benefiical if America, the Land of Opportunity,  provides the poor with a chance to prove they can handle responsibility just like the middle and upper classes.