Poverty Perceptions of Pre-Service Teachers and Social Work Candidates

Becky J. Cox, Cherry Watts, Michelle Horton


What perceptions do pre-service teachers and social work candidates have about poverty in schools or in the social services workplace? Poverty is a topic that these students will encounter in a real way in both training and in their chosen careers. College students experienced a glimpse of poverty during a poverty simulation based on actual poverty situations. The purpose of the poverty simulation is to allow pre-service teachers and social work candidates to gain a greater understanding of what it is like for those who live in poverty, and how the children and adults in this situation may have a different focus than their own.  A pretest and posttest survey was utilized to gather data providing insight into college students’ perceptions of poverty before and after participating in the poverty simulation. Several characteristic factors were examined including gender, age, and ethnicity. Personal reflections indicated changes in attitudes and understanding.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jse.v2i1.1099


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