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Adult Teaching & Learning

Dr. Leann Kaiser

Lesson Plan

Andragogy by M. Knowles

Nancy Hampson

May 1, 2011

This is a lesson plan for a book study on the book
A Framework for Poverty

by Dr. Ruby Payne Ph.D. It
will be used on first and second ye
ar teachers that enter the school district in August of 2011.

The group
meets for six sessions, 60 minutes a session.

Lesson #1 Introduction/Agenda/Journaling


First and second year teachers are required to pick a book study at the beginning of

every year and I
A Framework for Understanding Poverty

by Ruby Payne. If they have chosen my book study
group, the first time we meet I ask them to introduce themselves and tell me why they chose this book
study and what they know about povert
y in our school district. Then I go over the agenda and ask if
there's anything the group would like added

or addressed

that I didn't include. Finally I give them each
a journal that they'll share only with me which details their "wow" moments
and pers
onal reflections
as we
go through the chapters and the exercises.

Connection to Andragogy

“Being self
directed also means that adult students can participate in the diagnosis of their learning needs,
the planning and implementation of the learning experi
ences, and the evaluation of those experiences”
(Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007, p. 85). I want my students to tell me what directed them to
select my book study and what they already know about poverty, if anything. When I go over the agenda
t's also an opportunity for them to voice their opinions on why they're interested in learning about
poverty. In addition, because I give them all a journal, I'm helping them

their own thoughts on the
topic as we move through this eye
opening book.

Lesson #2 Home/Poverty/Web Exercise


At the second meeting everyone should have read chapter one. Divide the group into two sections and
give each a white board with markers. Write the word "Home" on one board and the word "Poverty" on
other board. Ask the participants at the "Home" board to think about getting ready for work in the
morning at their homes and write down some things they might do like brush their teeth, shower, watch
TV, exercise, etc. Then have them reflect on past exp
eriences when they've stayed with relatives or
friends and they were getting ready. Did they feel comfortable brushing their teeth in someone else's
bathroom or sharing someone else's sink? Did they mind getting dressed in front of someone else or
g while a friend was in the bathroom also getting ready? How would they feel getting ready for
work in a public shelter? Would it be like getting ready at home? The group that has the word "Poverty"
needs to think about the words they associate with som
eone being poor. Has it been their experience that
poor people are dirty? Overweight? What experiences in their lives have told them what the outward signs
of poverty are?

Connection to Andragogy

"An adult accumulates a growing reservoir of experience,
which is a resource for learning" (Merriam,
Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007, p. 84). This exercise connects with Andragogy by having the
participants draw on their past experiences of staying with a friend or relative and getting ready to go
some place.

Then I switch their frame of reference to a shelter and ask how they would feel getting ready
there. I also ask participants to tell me how they know, based on their experiences, what someone living
in poverty looks like and to specify how they know this

Finally for homework I ask them to journal how it
might feel getting ready in a shelter as opposed to getting ready at home and read chapters two and

Lesson #3

The Role of a Teacher


Make sure everyone has read chapter

two and
three and then view the documentary "What's Going On?
Poverty in America" hosted by Time Robbins. Ask the participants to site the challenges of the characters
in the film and why one character specifically, thinks a shelter is like living in prison. Ask

the participants
to imagine themselves as one of the characters in the film and to journal what their fears and challenges
would be. Then ask the class to brainstorm how a teacher could help alleviate some of those fears and
challenges. Also discuss the

hidden rules among classes and how a teacher can break down those rules
for a child and give them assistance navigating through them.

Connection to Andragogy

"The readiness of an adult to learn is closely related to the developmental tasks of his or her

social role"
(Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007, p. 84). Andragogy is connected to this exercise through the
brainstorming process of listing how a person in the role of a teacher could positively impact a child or an
entire family in poverty. W
hen we talk about the hidden rules of poverty, in many cases the teachers
taking the class are already aware of these rules but in a nonverbal sense. Verbalizing these rules helps
teachers realize how important their roles are because the student
could se

them as someone
trustworthy to confide in and offer possible solutions. Because of the role teacher

s play in students lives,
they can have an integral impact on those in poverty if they know the signs.

Lesson #4 Applying the Knowledge


Briefly go over chapters four and five. Pose the question to the group "How many organizations can you
think of that actively help the homeless in our town?"

Write th
e responses on flip chart paper

Divide the class into four sections and ask each group to create a fictitious organization that could help lift
people out of
poverty. Each group will have

1. A group name and logo for their organization

2. A mission and vision statement

3. Six month goals, one year goals and five year goals

4. Other organizations to collaborate with

5. A marketing campaign to spread the
word about the new organization

6. A plan to connect with local public schools including a list of services to help people in poverty

Connection to Andragogy

"There is a change in time perspective as people mature
from future application of knowledge to
iacy of application" (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007, p. 84). In my view this is a perfect
example of how Andragogy can be applied to this class because by brainstorming actual ways poverty can
be addressed is moving the participants from havin
g future knowledge of a subject to having immediate or
concrete knowledge. I'm also hopeful that by engaging in this exercise the participants will understand
how impactful their efforts can be in combating generational poverty.

Lesson #5



Briefly review chapters six and seven. Refer to the flip chart papers posted on various places in the room.
Explain that each piece of flip chart paper has a question on it and assign a group of people to each

The questions are:


"Why is poverty and homelessness a problem in America?"


"What would happen if we just looked the other way and pretended we didn't see it?"


"Does homelessness and poverty affect you?"


"Why should you care
about poverty) or

even help?"

After each group has had time to process their question and write some responses, request everyone do
a gallery walk and read through the flip charts.

Connection to Andragogy

According to Merriam, Caffarella and Baumgartner (2007) "The mos
t potent motivations are internal
rather than external" (Knowles, 1980). This exercise

is helping the participants understand

homelessness is a problem for everyone. I'm hoping to internally motivate them to

an acute
awareness that students
in poverty will be in every one of their schools. As a teacher, one possible
personal goal could be to advocate for these students and help them access the available resources out of

Lesson #6

Why are we learning this?


fly review chapters eight and nine.

True of False Quiz:: Please answer true or false to the following questions

1. Today one in ten families in American lives in poverty (True)

2. Every 53 minutes a child

dies from causes related to poverty in the U.S. (True)

3. Since 2005 the number of poor Americans has grown by more than 6 million to a total of 37 million


it's since 2000)

4. The American Midwest and the North have the greatest number of people falling into poverty since
2004 (False

it's the American Midwest and the South)

5. Being homeless makes i
t easy to attend school (False)

6. Homeless children have higher rates of learning disabilities and emotional behavioral problems (True)
Ask the class why?

7. Six million of the adult residents in the United States have been homeless at least once in their lives
(False) It's twelve million

8. The average homeless family is a 27 year
old single mother with two children under the age of 6.


Connection to Andragogy

As stated by

Merriam, Caffarella and Baumgartner (2007) "Adults need to know why they need to learn
something" (
Knowles, 1980). Question number six is important here because this could be the first sign
that there's a problem. In addition it's important to see if the child wears the same clothes or rotates 2
outfits a week. Does someone different pick them up

from school
everyday? (Homeless kids don't usually
take the bus) Do they bring their backpacks everyday?
Do they participate in any sports activities?
they focused or drifting through the day? This exercise
illustrates to the participants the magn
itude of the

drives home how to recognize


of poverty
in their


In addition to teaching, teachers have many jobs and because homelessness has become a

issue in this school district

and many others, it’s importa
nt for them to know the statistics, the signs and
the available resources to help the kids and families in these situations.

Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (Eds.). (2007). Learning in adulthood: A
comprehensive guide (3rd ed.). S
an Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Payne, R. K. (Ed.). (2001). A framework for understanding

poverty. Highlands, TX: aha! Process Inc.