Original Theory & Research

Active Learning to Promote Empathy, Social Justice and Advocacy of Impoverished Families Among Education and Nursing Students



INTRODUCTION The prevalent issue of poverty in our society predisposes those affected to increased vulnerability. Two professions which interact a great deal with the impoverished population are educators and nurses, but less is known about how the professions understand poverty issues. METHODS Underpinned by Constructivist theory, the goal was to implement an active learning experience and examine pre and post-simulation student responses for common patterns and themes. Using the Missouri Community Action Poverty Simulation to immerse 85 education and nursing students into poverty, researchers explored the reactions of nursing students and education students to issues of poverty. RESULTS From pre-simulation to post-simulation, students moved toward accepting their personal opinions and judgments and realizing potential biases. In contrast with the pre-simulation reflections that discussed poverty as a choice a person makes, many students now describe poverty as a cycle that people cannot break or recover from. CONCLUSION The findings of this study have implications for exploring strategic ways for educators and nurses to collaborate in an effort to close the gap that is created with social inequities, hoping to foster the evolution of empathy, social justice and advocacy within nursing and education disciplines.  Increased awareness of social justice, and examining how their experience of participating in a poverty simulation might influence advocacy in their future professional practice.


povertynursingeducationpoverty simulationempathysocial justiceactive learningadvocacy
  • Year: 2021
  • Volume: 4 Issue: 2
  • Page/Article: eP2171
  • DOI: 10.7710/2641-1148.2171
  • Published on 22 Oct 2021
  • Peer Reviewed