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ERIC Number: ED538774
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 40
Poverty and Education Report: Students Are Not to Blame--Understanding the Structural Causes of Family Poverty. BCTF Research Report. Section XII. 2009-EI-01
White, Margaret
British Columbia Teachers' Federation
In 2006, there were an estimated 181,000 low-income children in the province, with British Columbia (BC) reporting the highest before-tax child poverty rate (21.9%) in Canada (15.8%) for the fifth year in a row. This was the news in the "2008 Child Poverty Report Card" recently released by the First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition. Many of these families lived on incomes that were at least $11,000 below the before-tax low-income threshold. These figures tell that thousands of BC families are struggling economically, whose children are dealing with the effects of poverty. The current economic recession will further intensify the challenges many families face in earning an income sufficient to support their families. Part 1 of this paper discusses why it is important for educators to challenge assumptions and beliefs about the structural causes of poverty. How one thinks, feels, and communicates about poverty makes a difference in how students feel about themselves and their school community. This section also draws on educational research to explore conceptual issues around the framing of poverty and children. Part 2 of this paper draws on current policy and statistical reports to examine how economic, political, and social changes over the past decade have contributed to child and family poverty. Improving one's understanding of the structural determinants of poverty can help to raise awareness of the external factors that undermine the efforts of many families to achieve economic security. The response of the BC government to the issue of child and family poverty is compared to that of other Canadian provinces. This section concludes by describing poverty reduction strategies proposed by social policy advocates. Implications for the public education system are discussed throughout the paper. (Contains 1 table and 3 charts.)
British Columbia Teachers' Federation. 100-550 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4P2, Canada. Tel: 800-663-9163; Tel: 604-871-2283; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: British Columbia Teachers' Federation (BCTF) (Canada)
Identifiers - Location: Canada