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Classroom guide targets homelessness

October 29, 2010

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Two SFU economics researchers have developed a new resource guide for B.C. schools aimed at helping high school students better understand the economics of homelessness.

Professor Krishna Pendakur and educational consultant Jennifer Hales produced the free online guide, Learning About Homelessness in British Columbia, over the past two years with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Unveiled during Homeless Action Week, Oct. 10-16, the 166-page resource guide includes a background document for teachers and is aimed at Grade 11 or 12 students in such classes as social studies, law and economics.

The lessons are designed to meet the learning outcomes in the mandated curriculum in the B.C. Ministry of Education’s integrated resource packages (IRPs) and include activities for teachers and students as well as a list of supplementary resources.

“For more than a decade the number of people who live in severe destitution and deprivation on the streets, and in precarious housing situations… has dramatically and rapidly increased,” says Pendakur, whose research focuses on economic inequality and public policy.

Adds Hales: “Teaching students about homelessness gives them an opportunity to gain more in-depth knowledge about the problem and also helps them to explore and clarify their own views about homelessness and feelings on empathy and justice.”

To view and/or download the resource guide, visit http://at.sfu.ca/wLOruQ.

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