Poverty Education Center
Poverty Education Center Blog
  • Public vs. Private Schools in China: an Educational Revolution in a Rapidly-Changing Society

    Posted by Benjamin Curtis on 4/16/2014 02:51:38 PM

     Public vs. Private Schools in China:

    the Educational Revolution in a Rapidly-Changing Society

    Thursday, May 1st

     12:30 to 1:30pm 

     Bannan 102


    No country in the world has changed more in the last thirty years than China. One of the biggest changes is the massive expansion of educational opportunities. Yet only since 2003 have private schools played a major role in China’s changing educational landscape. How has Chinese private education been rebuilt? What are the significant challenges facing private education? What are its advantages and disadvantages compared to public education?

    Answering these questions will be Mr. Zixiong Ma, the Chairman of the Jinqiao Education Group. He has worked in primary, secondary, and tertiary education in China since 1977. In 2000 he started an experimental, bilingual private school in the city of Wuxi, outside of Shanghai. This experimental school has since expanded to become one of the top-performing and most sought-after schools in its region. Mr. Ma has pioneered partnerships between government and business to build up the Jinqiao group of private schools.

    The lecture will be delivered in Mandarin, with English translation.

    Sponsored by Matteo Ricci College. For more information, contact the Poverty Education Center.

    Inequality and global wealth

    Posted by Benjamin Curtis on 4/12/2014 11:30:35 AM

    The French economist Thomas Piketty is one of the world's leading authorities on inequality. His book Capital in the Twenty-First Century has recently been published in English. It's a weighty tome, but is bound to be influential, and anyone who cares about issues such as the global distribution of wealth and poverty should have some familiarity with Piketty's scholarship.

    For those who don't have time or aren't inclined to delve through the book's almost 700 pages, Vox has produced not only a short guide to the book, but this very useful series of charts "that explain the history of global wealth." Here's just one:


    Upcoming Event: The Economics of Inequality, Exclusion, and Consumerism

    Posted by Benjamin Curtis on 4/3/2014 11:31:11 AM

    The Albers School of Business and Economics is sponsoring an upcoming event on the Seattle U campus:

    The Economics of Inequality, Exclusion, and Consumerism 
    Reflections by Albers Faculty
    Thursday, April 17th, 2014 
    Wyckoff Auditorium 
    12:00-1:30 pm 

    Pope Francis denounces the tyranny of autonomous markets. But are markets tyrannical? Do they have to be? 

    Albers ETH-X Scholars discuss current research on markets and the promotion of justice. 

    Topics Include: Humane Living Standards, Transformative Marketing, Microcredit, and Empowerment. 

    Featuring Speaker: Joe Phillips. Featuring Panelists: Matt Isaac, Katie Fitzpatrick, and Quan Le.

    Co-Sponsored by the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture, and Mission and Ministry.


    “The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.”

    - Pope Francis

    March PEC Update

    Posted by Paul DeWater on 3/10/2014 09:13:54 AM

    The PEC's roster of events continued to grow! As part of SU's International Week celebration in January, the PEC sponsored several campus gatherings. A packed room attended "From Harm to Home," in which refugees from Myanmar and other countries shared stories of leaving their homes, surviving as a displaced person, and adjusting to life in the United States. In another I-Week event, Professors Audrey Hudgins and Serena Cosgrove discussed how education abroad can help the poor, offering their advice on how students can make their international experiences meaningful for social justice. The PEC was a co-organizer for a sell-out concert by the Filipino-American pop star AJ Rafael. The concert was held to show solidarity with people in the Philippines, and proceeds went to benefit the School of the SEA (Sea and Earth Advocates), a leading environmental education organization whose facilities were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. Other PEC productions included a presentation on gender and conflict in the Great Lakes region of Africa by a leading scholar of African development, and a panel on careers in international development featuring speakers from PATH, USAID, and the Seattle International Foundation. To learn about the PEC's events, please visit the Poverty Education Center Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/povertyeducationcenter.

    New Civil Rights Program in Development

    Posted by Paul DeWater on 3/10/2014 09:12:25 AM
    Washington State is failing. Its education system received an "F" in educating students about the American civil rights movement, according to a 2012 report by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Now the state's universities and colleges are mobilizing to address this problem. In January, Professors Emily Lieb and Ben Curtis attended a conference at Whitman College in Walla Walla on how higher educational institutions can partner with K-12 schools to improve teaching about the civil rights movement. Matteo Ricci College's Poverty Education Center will be collaborating with the University of Washington, Seattle Pacific University, and Seattle Central Community College on a new program to send undergraduates into middle school and high school classrooms to give lessons on civil rights history. Adapting a model pioneered by Whitman, Matteo Ricci students in the Bachelor of Arts in Humanities for Teaching degree will be trained in essential content for civil rights history, and will then share their knowledge and teaching experience with students in local schools. This innovative program, with its promising partnership between multiple universities and schools, is currently being developed, and is scheduled for launch next year. 

    Compassion, poverty, and education

    Posted by Benjamin Curtis on 3/2/2014 02:02:26 PM

    I've long thought that compassion and empathy were key for truly understanding poverty. If you have no compassion for people who are poor, then it's unlikely that you will care about their problems, or about the problem of poverty in the world. The big question is, how to inculcate that compassion in people who don't already feel it? How can poverty education encourage empathy, and thereby spur both understanding and action about poverty?

    Those questions need big answers. Nicholas Kristof offers a few thoughts on them a propos of a recent column on low-income Americans that elicited some uncompassionate responses from his readers.

    "There is an income gap in America, but just as important is a compassion gap. Plenty of successful people see a picture of a needy child and their first impulse is not to help but to reproach.

    To break cycles of poverty, we have the tools to improve high school graduation rates, reduce teen pregnancies and increase employment. What we lack is the will to do so."

    Read the whole article


    Dr. Cosgrove on Rwandan television

    Posted by Benjamin Curtis on 2/21/2014 08:04:38 PM

    While on her research trip to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo this past November, Dr. Serena Cosgrove was interviewed by Rwandan television.

    Check out the interview here: http://rba.co.rw/rwanda-world-serena-casgrove

    Photo: With Modestine and Alaine in Goma!!!



    Jesuit Universities Engaging Poverty: Perspectives from Seattle and Managua

     On May 11th, the Poverty Education Center hosted "Jesuit Universities Engaging Poverty: Perspectives from Seattle and Managua." The event brought together students, faculty, staff, and community members to hear from Seattle University and la Universidad Centroamericana about how they were engaging poverty in their communities. 

     Read More