Poverty Reduction and the New 'Global Middle Class'


This page provides a superb collection of interactive data sets and infographics on poverty reduction and the emerging new global middle class. It relies on the marvelous Our World in Data website for much of its data visualization, which brings this dramatic change alive. Students develop their skills in data analysis and graphicacy. There is stunning class presentation with worksheet. The lesson moves on to look at the new middle class and in addition to describing the numbers, students finish the lesson by contemplating the challenges and vulnerability of this new middle class as well as consider the squeezed middle classes of the west.

Enquiry Question

How has poverty been reduced?

Lesson Time: 1 Hour

Lesson Objectives:

  • To describe the pattern of poverty reduction at different scales
  • To describe and explain the new emerging global middle class

Teacher Notes:

Starter Activity_Key Vocab_Processes_Students should first discuss the meaning of the three terms. Definitions are then provided in the drp down box.

1. Map and Graph Analysis _Spatial Patterns of Poverty_Scale and Spatial Interactions_Project the interactive map and then graph and students should answer the questions above each graphic

2. Graph Analysis_A Visual History of Poverty_Processes and Spacial Interactions_Give students the the presentation of World History of Poverty featuring an outstanding collection of graphics; the best of which have been screenshot into the worksheet provided. Students should annotate the graphics in their worksheet as the class comment on each graph in the presentation

3. Video Comprehension, Hans Rosling IKEA Buckets_World Population_ Processes and Spatial Interactions__Show the students from 2.25 to 6.20 mins. Students should write down the main educational aim of the lecture

4. Graph Analysis_The Growing Middle Class_Processes and Spatial Interactions_Then open the Reuters interactive graphic and students should describe briefly the changing pattern of the global middle class.

5. Reading Comprehension_The New Middle Class_Processes and Possibilities_Students can then extend their reading via the site and answer the three questions based on Mario Pezzini's thoughts.

6. Presentation_The Squeeze of the West's Middle Class_Power and Spatial Interactions_Then present the slideshow to the class and the students should describe what shown and suggest reasons. This can be done as a class discussion and plenary activity.

7. Student Assessment_Essay Question_Power and Possibilities_Discuss the pattern of change in global wealth, including reduction in poverty and the 'new middle class'. (10)

Starter Activity_Processes_What do these terms mean?

  1. Absolute Poverty (Extreme Poverty)
  2. Relative Poverty
  3. Social Exclusion

Absolute Poverty is the lack of sufficient resources with which to keep body and soul together.

The World Bank set the level of $1.25 a day as the benchmark. IN the UK the specify half of the average earnings, which is a

Relative poverty defines income or resources in relation to the average. It is concerned with the absence of the material needs to participate fully in accepted daily life. The UK specify this level to be 60% of the median annual earnings after housing costs.
Social exclusion is a new term used by the UK Government. Social exclusion was described as "…a shorthand label for what can happen when individuals or areas suffer from a combination of linked problems such as unemployment, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime environments, bad health and family breakdown".

Student Activity_Scale and Spatial Interactions_Poverty Reduction at Different Scales

Study the graph below and describe the change in poverty levels between 1981 and 2014

Study the graph below and answer the following questions:

  1. Describe the change in numbers of people living in absolute poverty from 1987 to 2013
  2. Describe the impact of China on this data
  3. Explain the anomaly region in the graph

To access the remainder of resources for this lesson click here

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