NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

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Course Descriptions

Framework for Understanding Poverty, Part 1

EDUC 600

The middle-class teacher and service provider often expect people from generational poverty to behave in middle-class ways and are perplexed when they do not.  “Hidden rules” exist in economic classes.  When those in positions of power and authority come from a class with rules different from those they work with, understanding and communication often break down.  This workshop will help teachers and other service providers obtain new ideas on how to work with a growing part of their classrooms and client base we well as better assist the under resourced learner. Prerequisite to Workshop II.


  • Understand the keypoints of poverty such as poverty is relative.
  • Understand how family structure can affect student learning and motivation.
  • Learn how hidden rules can block communication between educators, students, and parents.
  • Learn how casual and formal register of language can inhibit communication in the classroom and with parents.
  • Discuss which resources are missing in many of our students and how than can affect learning and school attendance.
  • Look at a variety of discipline strategies which may provide a better structure for students from poverty.
  • Understand the reason some students will work for you only if they like you.  (The importance of relationships in poverty.)

Required Text:

Framework for Understanding Poverty by Dr. Ruby Payne. Please purchased at: ahaProcess.com prior to the first day of class.