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Class Syllabus

Investigations Into Economic Class in America                              HAHS 1510



Course Description:

                The course examines the impact of economic class on individuals and communities.  Investigating society’s rules and resources and provides a way to understand individuals, institutions, and society.  Problem identification, analysis, and a structured process for change offer pathways to solutions for personal and community issues.    3 s.h.


Course Requirements:

                Open to juniors and seniors in high school.


Course Syllabus:

Class Meetings:                                M-T-W-Th-F

Instructor:                           YSU Part Time Faculty:   Mr. B. Abeid

                                                E-mail address:  babeid@campbell.k12.oh.us


Required Textbook/Supplies:

  • Investigations into Economic Class in America, DeVol & Krodel 2010
  • Additional Handouts – provided
  • Binder(portfolio),Notebook & Writing Utensil
  • Academic calendar/planner to track assignments


Course Objectives:

1.Research into the causes of poverty

2.The hidden rules of economic class

3.Eleven resources for a stable, rich life

4.Process of change

5.Assessment process

6.Planning process




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Skills – Students will:

1.Negotiate within middle-class institutions through the use of mediation skills

2.Develop skills for building a future orientation, including plans for personal growth

3.Use formal register to express self, tell stories, write, and negotiate

4.Develop the ability to move from concrete to abstract thinking, thus improving the ability to problem-solve and change

5.Identify the mindsets of other people in relation to the hidden rules of economic class

6.Develop skill in use of hidden rules to build social capital and relationships of mutual respect

7.Analyze the strength of proposed plans based on the concepts of building resources and SMART (specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, time-specific) goals

8.Develop skills in goal setting, planning, and task completion


Attitudes and Dispositions – Students will develop:

1.Emotional detachment that enables informed choice

2.The confidence and self-assurance to express themselves in relation to the mindsets of economic class and the causes of poverty

3.A willingness to develop bridging social capital

4.Appreciation for diverse cultures and the effect of normalization on societal issues



Weekly Assignments and Topics



Readings-Assignments Due





Introduction:  Getting Started Understanding Poverty:

Mental Model of Poverty

Module 1-2


Understanding Poverty: 

Mental Model of Poverty

Power:  Process of Change

Module 2-3

Reflection Journal due Wed.

Module 2:  Activities II – VII in portfolio

Module 3:  Activity V in portfolio


Understanding Poverty:  The Rich/Poor Gap

Module 4:  http://www.npr.org/programs/specials/poll/poverty

Reflection Journal due Wed.

Choose movie or book for writing assignment #4 (see module 9 Activity I C and p. 228→)


Understanding Poverty

Module 4:


Writing Assignment 1


Framework:  Hidden Rules of Economic Class, Code Switching

Module 5 & Module 6


Reflection Journal due Wed.



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Framework:  Hidden Rules of Economic Class, Financial Aid, Planning

Module 5 & Module 6





Framework:  Language Resources, Negotiation

Module 6

Module 4 Activity IX.A and B   Due Monday

Module 5 Activity V.C                Due Monday

Reflection Journal due Wed.

Module 6 Activity VII.A and B


Framework:  Eleven Resources


Module 7

Writing Assignment 2

Module 7 Activity IIIA








Understanding Where I Am:

Stages of Change, Self-Assessment

Module 8 & Module 9

Reflection Journal due Wed.


Understanding Where I Am :


Module 9

Writing Assignment 3

Module 9 Activity IA Summary



Understanding Where I Am:

Community Assessment

Module 10

Reflection Journal due Wed.


Module 10 Activity IIA


Power:  Building Resources

Module 11

Reflection Journal due Wed.





Responsibility:  Your Plan for Getting to Prosperity

Module 12

Reflection Journal due Wed.

Writing Assignment 4-Book or movie (module 9 Activity I C)


Responsibility:  Your Plan for Getting to Prosperity

Module 12

Reflection Journal due Wed.

First Draft of Personal Plan & My Future Story


Responsibility:  Your Plan for Getting to Prosperity – Community

Module 12

Review and Revision

Reflection Journal due Thurs.  Portfolio Review




In-Class Presentations or FINAL EXAM



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1.Attendance/Participation:  Your attendance and participation are crucial not only for your own learning but also for your classmates.  Each week is worth 20 points.

2.Spot Checking of Portfolio:  Your portfolio will be checked periodically to ensure:

a.It is up to date with all previous assignments

b.There is evidence of planning for major assignments

3.Extra Credit:  There are 2 ways to earn extra credit.

a.Identify a topic not provided by instructor (but approved by instructor) before you begin one of the writing assignments.

b.Complete more journal assignments than the 10 required.

4.Four Writing Assignments:  Specific writing assignments will be distributed during the course of the semester.

5.In-Class Assignments:  In addition to discussions, there are other in-class investigations, particularly the creation of mental models, mini-plans, and assessments, which will be presented as part of your portfolio.

6.Final Personal Plan and Future Story:  Specific instructions and in-class time will be provided for the final assignments of the course.

7.Portfolio:  It will consist of:

a.Ten journal reflections

b.Four Writing Assignments

c.Activities from the Investigations workbook (mental models and mini-plans)

d.Extra Credit – if you choose to do it

e.Final Writing Assignment:  My Future Story

f.My Personal Plan for Growth

Grading for the Course

  • Total Points = 1000


  • Attendance/Participation = 100                                                         A = 900-1000 points
  • Planner Spot Check = 50                                                                        B = 800-899 points
  • Ten Journal Reflections = 100                                                             C = 700-799 points
  • First Writing Assignment = 50                                                             D = 600-699 points
  • Second Writing Assignment = 50                                                       F =     0-599 points
  • Third Writing Assignment = 50                           MIDTERM EXAM = 100
  • Fourth Writing Assignment = 50
  • Final Future Story = 100
  • Final Personal Plan = 150
  • Portfolio = 100                                                           FINAL EXAM = 100

Extra Credit = 50                                                                                                                               Page 4 of 4

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