NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

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Course Descriptions

A Framework for Understanding Poverty

EDUC 600

This course will study the patterns and behaviors of people in the culture of poverty.  Social class rules and characteristics of generational poverty are explored. Teachers will examine the latest research as it applies to students in the classroom as well as parents. Educators will learn about improving instruction and academic achievement among students. Educators will research this issue for alternative or additional views to addressing the issue of poverty. Teachers may develop lessons or activities for classroom applications that help all students to be successful in school.  


1.  Educators will acquire a framework of the culture of poverty and the role of language.

2.  Participants will learn about the hidden roles among social classes and how those roles influence how students work, behave and perceive the school experience.

3.  Educators will learn about the characteristics of generational poverty and how the patters of behavior, problems and world views are passed to future generations.  

4.  Participants will explore the resources, role models, discipline and support systems.

5.  Educators will research the culture of poverty issue regarding alternative theories and conclusions presented in the book, as well as present a variety of solutions.

6.  Teachers will develop a lesson or unit plan that utilizes strategies or activities in the book and how to use instructional techniques to improve student achievement.


A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby Payne. (2007) Highlands, TX: Aha Press. 183 Pages.