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ERIC Number: EJ788136
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
The Causes of Poverty: Thinking Critically about a Key Economic Issue
Otlin, Josh
Social Education, v72 n2 p75-79 Mar 2008
Economics is a central part of civic education. Students need to know about the Constitution and the party system, but active citizenship in the twenty-first century requires much more than the standard civics courses offer. Economic issues dominate public policy debates ranging from Social Security to immigration to international security. If students cannot evaluate economic arguments, they can do little but watch democracy from the sidelines or step into the fray partially blindfolded. In this article, the author presents a lesson he has developed on poverty, which shows students that "arguments about economic issues are based on interpretations of data, and that different analysts can reach different judgments about those data." After examining statistical information on people and families living in poverty, students evaluate alternative arguments about the causes of poverty, and attain a better understanding of different approaches to dealing with the problem. (Contains 1 figure and 4 tables.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street 500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A