University of Wisconsin–Madison

2018 Teaching Poverty 101 Workshop

This page has been updated with IRP resources through May 2020.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, poverty center researchers and scholars are sharing their expertise to inform efforts to help struggling Americans through this crisis. Research and news can be found on IRP’s Poverty & Covid-19 webpage.

Session 1: Conceptualizing and Measuring Poverty

Speakers: Robert Haveman (presentation), Julia Isaacs (presentation)

Additional Resources:
Poverty FAQ: Who is Poor, 2018
Poverty FAQ: How is Poverty Measured, 2018
Poverty FAQ: What are Poverty Thresholds and Poverty Guidelines, 2018
Webinar: Measuring How Social Relationships Contribute To The Outcomes Of Program Participants, April 2020
Webinar: How Well-Being Measures Can Help Communities Fight Poverty And Despair, December 2019
Focus: Measuring Child Poverty In The United States, September 2019
Discussion Paper: A Decade-Long View Of Multidimensional Deprivation In The United States, September 2019
Poverty Fact Sheet: Declining Returns To Low-Wage Work In Wisconsin, September 2019
Report: Wisconsin Poverty Report: Treading Water In 2017, June 2019
Webinar: Cutting The Child Poverty Rate By Half: A Report From The National Academies, May 2019
Podcast: Understanding Poverty and Inequality in the 21st Century, October 2016
Podcast: The Wisconsin Poverty Report and How We Think About Measuring Poverty, July 2013
Fast Focus: A Consumer’s Guide to Interpreting Various U.S. PovertyMeasures, May 2012

Session 2: Poverty, Income Inequality, and the Family

How to think about poverty and income inequality? How do these concepts relate and differ? What is the relationship between income inequality, the welfare state and poverty? What are the implications for families?

Speakers: Marcy Carlson (presentation), Timothy Smeeding (presentation)

Additional Resources:

Focus: Culture Change: Implementing A New Approach To Child Support, July 2019
Focus: Can A Redesigned Child Support System Do Better?, July 2019
Focus: Do Low-Income Noncustodial Fathers “Trade” Earlier Families For Newer Ones?, July 2019
Webinar: Cutting The Child Poverty Rate By Half: A Report From The National Academies, May 2019
Focus: Intergenerational transmission of income inequality: What do we know?, Spring 2017
Podcast: How Do Resources Matter for Health and Quality of Life?, February 2017
Podcast: Understanding Poverty And Inequality In The 21st Century, October 2016
Poverty Fact Sheet: Which Families Are Poor and Why, September 2016
Podcast: Family Complexity, Inequality, and Public Policy, August 2015
Poverty Fact Sheet: Is the American Dream Still Attainable, September 2014
Focus: The Role of Family Policies in Antipoverty Policy, Fall 2009

Session 3: The Normativity of Poverty

Is poverty bad, if so why, and how: does this have any significance for how we conceptualize and measure it?

Speakers: Harry Brighouse, Tim Smeeding

Additional Resources:
Podcast: What Does It Cost to Raise a Child?, April 2017
Discussion Paper: Poverty Measurement, June 2014

Session 4: Distribution of Poverty

Using dominant definitions of poverty, this session will discuss the prevalence and composition of the poor, trends in poverty as well the analytic usefulness of various measures.

Speaker: Geoffrey Wallace (presentation)

Additional Resources:
Poverty Fact Sheet: Suburban Poverty, February 2018
Poverty Fact Sheet: Wisconsin Poverty 101 Updated, September 2016
Podcast: The Suburbanization of U.S. Poverty, August 2016
Focus: The Changing Geography of Poverty, Spring 2016

Session 5: Poverty, Incarceration, and Labor Markets

How do we think about poverty trends, incarceration rates and the relationship to labor markets? How do various disciplines approach these issues? What do we know and what are the implications? Given large observed differences in poverty, incarceration rates and employment by race/ethnicity, what are the implications for policy and why?

Speakers: Mike Massogolia (presentation), Chris Taber (presentation)

Additional Resources:

Focus: Understanding The Effects Of The U.S. Prison Boom On Rural Communities, November 2019
Focus: Poverty, Criminal Justice, and Social Justice, November 2019
Focus: Understanding the Effects of the U.S. Prison Boom on Rural Communities, November 2019
Poverty Fact Sheet: Pay-to-Stay Jail Fees in Wisconsin, October 2018
Webinar: The Unintended Consequences of “Ban the Box” Policies, March 2018
Fast Focus: Living on the Periphery: Poor Urban Men, March 2018
Focus: How does incarceration affect where people live after prison, and does it vary by race?, Fall 2015
Fast Focus: Helping the Hard-to-Employ and Their Families, September 2014
Podcast: Criminal Punishment and American Inequality, June 2014
Podcast: The Employment Prospects of Formerly Incarcerated People and Off-the-Books Work, February 2013

Session 6: Discussion Project, Teaching Poverty

How do we do this? How do we teach rigorous content on difficult topics? What works, what doesn’t? How to approach the challenges given who we are as instructors, where we are and who we are teaching?

Speaker: Paula McAvoy, The Discussion Project, School of Education; Program Director for the Center for Ethics and Education

Additional Resources:

Session 7: Poverty and Health, U.S. Health Policy, Coverage, Gaps, and Outcomes

It is recognized across disciplines and practice arenas that health is a primary input into well-being. This session will provide an overview of health inequities around socio-economic status, geography, race and ethnicity as well as picture of our health system.

Speakers: Michal Engelman (presentation), Donna Friedsam (presentation)

Additional Resources:

Webinar: The Role of Fathers in Children’s Health, February 19 2020
Focus: Human Services Programs and the Opioid Crisis, February 2020
Focus: Understanding the Needs of Families During the Opioid Crisis, February 2020
Focus: Interactions Between Human Services Programs and the Opioid Crisis: Child Welfare, February 2020
Focus: Interactions Between Human Services Programs and the Opioid Crisis: Self-Sufficiency Supports, February 2020
Focus: Interactions Between Human Services Programs and the Opioid Crisis: Early Childhood Care, February 2020
Focus: Interactions Between Human Services Programs and the Opioid Crisis: Adolescents and Young Adults, February 2020
Webinar: How Well-Being Measures Can Help Communities Fight Poverty And Despair, December 2019
Webinar: opioids 101, September 2019
Fast Focus: Reducing High Infant Mortality Rates In The United States, May 20192019
Fast Focus: Reducing Pregnancy-Related Maternal Deaths In The United States, December 2018
Webinar: Reducing Adverse Birth Outcomes, February 2018
Podcast: Can Your Neighborhood Affect Your Health?, January 2018
Focus on Policy: Reducing Health Disparities by Poverty Status, October 2015
Podcast: The Biosocial Links between Discrimination and African- American Health, June 2015
Poverty Fact Sheet: Poor and In Poor Health, November 2013
Fast Focus: The Affordable Care Act: What does it do for low-income families?, December 2012

Session 8: Poverty and Education, Early Childhood, K-12, and College

There is very little disagreement on the broad statement that increasing education, and in particular, early child education is related to reductions in poverty. How do we think about educational inputs throughout the lifecycle? What programs, policies and approaches “work” and which are less successful? How does our increased understanding of child development and brain science impact these conversations? What innovative approaches, studies and programs are happening now and how do they inform the existing research base?

Speakers: Jordan Conwell (presentation), Katherine Magnuson (presentation), Matt Wolfgram (presentation)

Additional Resources:

Podcast: Peter Blair On Occupational Licenses And What They Signal In The Job Market, March 2020
Podcast: Jessica Calarco On Parents And The Power Of Privilege In Schools, February 25 2020
IRP Seminar: Chloe Gibbs, “A Matter of Time? The Longer-Term and Broader Effects of Full-Day Kindergarten” December 12, 2019
IRP Seminar, Jirs Meuris, Using Text-Messaging to Reduce Financial Precarity and Improve Educational Outcomes for Students in College October 13, 2019
Webinar: Can Career And Technical Education (CTE) Improve Student Outcomes?, November 2019
Fast Focus: Ensuring Equity In Evolving High School Career And Technical Education Policies, August 2019
Podcast: Aaron Sojourner And Matt Wiswall On The Value Of Investments In Quality Child Care, August 2019
Webinar: Improving Federal Student Loan Policy, June 2019
Fast Focus: The Brain Science of Poverty and Its Policy Implications, June 2019
Fast Focus: What Do We Know About Career and Technical Education?, April 2019
Podcast: Jordan Conwell On Parental Income, Race, Gender, And Children’s School Readiness, February 2019
Podcast: Beth Vaade, Kerry Lawton, And Eric Grodsky On Research-Practice Partnerships In Education, September 2018
Report: Post-Divorce Placement Arrangements And Children’s Test Scores, July 2018
Fast Focus: Neighborhood poverty and school readiness, January 2018
Focus: Poverty and K–12 Schooling, Spring 2017
Focus: Effects of poverty and health on children’s cognitive development, Spring 2017
Focus: Poverty and early care and education, Spring 2017
Focus: What is “high-quality” early care and education?, Spring 2017
Focus: Early Childhood interventions; Educational opportunity for homeless students; Reducing inequality; School quality; College completion, Fall 2015
Discussion Paper: Just the Facts, Ma’am: Postsecondary Education and Labor Market Outcomes in the U.S., April 2015

Session 9: Housing, Place, and Poverty

The housing bundle is consequential in our lives. Where we live conditions the public services, schools and neighborhood we have access to. Under conditions of poverty, what does this mean? What tools are helpful in considering housing and how do various disciplines approach this topic?

Speakers: Marah A. Curtis (presentation), Peter Miller (presentation)

Additional Resources:

IRP Seminar: Jacob Faber: We Built This: Consequences of New Deal Era Intervention in America’s Racial Geography, January 30, 2020
Fast Focus: Many Rural Americans Are Still “Left Behind”, January 2020
Podcast: Brian Thiede On The Rural Economy And Barriers To Work In Rural America, September 2019
Webinar: The State Of The Nation’s Housing, August 2019
Podcast: Walter Stern On Race And Education In New Orleans: Creating The Segregated City, April 2019
Webinar: Well-Being Of Families After Experiencing Homelessness, March 2019
Focus: A History Of Residential Segregation In The United States, March 2019
Focus: Segregation And Subprime Lending Within And Across Metropolitan Areas, March 2019
Focus: Moving Into And Out Of Rural Poverty, December 2018
Focus: Rural-Urban Disparity In Poverty Persistence, December 2018
Focus: Child Poverty In Rural America, December 2018
Focus: Fifty Years After The People Left Behind: The Unfinished Challenge Of Reducing Rural Poverty, October 2018
Focus: Are Rural Americans Still Behind?, October 2018
Podcast: Michael Light On Rates Of Violence And The Consequences Of Segregation, October 2018
Webinar: Rural Poverty Fifty Years After The People Left Behind, September 2018
Poverty Fact Sheet: Suburban Poverty, February 2018
Podcast: Kathleen Moore On The Housing Choice Voucher Program And Rental Market Discrimination, April 2018
Podcast: Can Your Neighborhood Affect Your Health?, January 2018
Podcast: Mortgage Markets And The Roots Of Racial Health Disparities, June 2017
Focus: Poverty, Neighborhood, and School Setting, Spring 2017
Focus: Poor Families, Housing, and Health, Fall 2016
Poverty Fact Sheet: No Place To Call Home: Child And Youth Homelessness In The United States, May 2015
Podcast: Pollution and Environmental Justice In Low-Income Communities of Color, April 2015
Fast Focus: Unaffordable America: Poverty, Housing, And Eviction, March 2015

Session 10: Poverty, Family, and Labor Market Interventions

This session will highlight marked changes in family structure over the last 30 years and the relationship to poverty, policymaking and responsiveness. How might local and federal policies respond to these documented changes? What do we know and what are the implications? How can and do active labor market programs interact with those in poverty?

Speakers: Kristin Seefeldt (presentation), Jeff Smith (presentation)

Additional Resources:

Fast Focus: Strategies For Engaging Fathers In Family Services, March 2020
Webinar: Pathways To Prosperity And Well-Being: A New Family-Centered Approach To Human Services Delivery, January 15 2020
Podcast: Angela Guarin: Do Low-Income Noncustodial Fathers “Trade” Earlier Families For New Ones?, February 2020
Fast Focus: Involved Fathers Play An Important Role In Children’s Lives, February 2020
Webinar: Strengthening Relationships Between Noncustodial Fathers And The Mothers Of Their Children, November 2019
Podcast: Lenna Nepomnyaschy On The Role Of Fathers In Reducing Inequality In Child Outcomes, January 2019
Podcast: Brad Wilcox On The “Success Sequence” For Millennials, March 2018
Webinar: Paid Family leave for Low-Income Women, October 2017
Podcast: Family Complexity, Inequality, And Public Policy, August 2015
Focus on Policy: Family Change: It’s Complicated, January 2014
Podcast: Roles And Resources In Complex Families, October 2014
Podcast: Kids, Marriage, And Work: Behavioral Decisions Around The EITC, August 2014

Session 11: Anti-Poverty Programs, Coverage, Gaps, and Implementation

What do we know about some of our major anti-poverty programs in terms of access and uptake? What do we know about how consumers experience and report these programs impact their lives? What do we need to pay attention to and why?

Speakers: Judith Bartfeld (presentation), Sarah Halpern-Meekin (presentation), David Pate (presentation)

Additional Resources:

Podcast: Leslie Hodges on Unemployment Insurance and Material Hardships, October 2019
Fast Focus: Understanding Benefit Cliffs And Marginal Tax Rates, September 2019
Report: Barriers To Child Support Payment, August 2019
Podcast: Jacob Bastian on the Real Costs of the EITC, November 2018
Webinar: Work Requirements in the Safety Net and the Challenges of Implementation, October 2018
Webinar: The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act And Its Implications For Low- Income Households, February 2018
Podcast: Robert Doar On a Safety Net That Works, December 2017
Webinar: Weighing The Benefits Of A Universal Vs. Targeted Child Safety Net, May 2017
Webinar: The Decentralization of the U.S. Safety Net, December 2016
Podcast: The Tax War on Poverty, March 2016
Focus on Policy: The Basics of SNAP Food Assistance, November 2015

Session 12: Panel

This panel will explored:
•  The application of poverty research to “the real world”
•  How policymakers think about and use poverty research
•  How to best engage policymakers in the classroom

Facilitator: Hilary Shager, IRP Associate Director of Programs and Management
Panel Speakers: Cory Mason, Mayor of Racine, Secretary Eloise Anderson, Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, State Representative Joan Ballweg

Wrap-up Exercise

Facilitator: Harry Brighouse

Keynote Address

Changing Families, Changing Policy
Keynote speaker: Maria Cancian (presentation)

Download PDF  2020 Teaching Poverty 101 Additional Resource Sheet2018 Teaching Poverty 101 Additional Resource Sheet