Lesson Plans

Understanding Poverty and Inequality


The idea of inequality, specifically economic inequality, is under increased scrutiny and debate today. However, most conversations about inequality use the terms equity and equality interchangeably, which is inaccurate. There is also considerable confusion about the relationship between poverty and inequality. These lesson plans help explain what the key conversations are about and what tools economists use to analyze them.

Specifically, they ask, how is poverty measured? What does a Gini coefficient measure? How does Canada compare globally in poverty and inequality measures? Why does income mobility matter? Is inequality always undesirable? Is there “bad wealth” and “good wealth”? How is wealth redistributed in Canada? How do innovation and entrepreneurship play a role in making our lives better and what incentives are in place to foster this market activity? Is there more poverty and inequality in nations with less economic freedom? How is economic growth measured and why does it matter? Why are some countries rich, while others remain poor? How can we minimize poverty while ensuring that innovation and entrepreneurship prosper?

The eight lesson plans included in the Understanding Poverty & Inequality in Canada and Around the World curriculum are a mechanism for you to introduce these topics into your classroom in a fun and interactive way so that you can have fact-based discussions around these sometimes controversial and often misunderstood topics. We’re providing a teaser of two of the lessons to get your started and will be offering a workshop with the full set of lesson plans shortly.

Lessons Available

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