Hey everybody and Happy Black History Month! While it's great that the month of February is set aside to recognize the contributions that Black Americans have made in this country, it's quite unfortunate that their contributions are only relegated to the shortest month of the year. Simply put...Black History IS a part of American History and the advancements that Black people have made to shape this world go far beyond one month. So with that being said, I want to delve into the importance of representation. Recently I had a chance to attend a strategic planning meeting with others in the field of education. During the meeting one of the topics that came up was Equity in terms of ensuring every group that has a stake in any organization has a voice and they are represented at all levels.
Now in case you're wondering how equity could possibly have a place in the classroom, I want to first offer this definition: the word EQUITY can be defined as being fair, or impartial. Equity is achieved when individuals are given the same opportunities to achieve success. Interestingly, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) describes three characteristics of an equitable learning environment:
The next article titled Getting Excellence with Equity, shares ways the author delves into the importance of providing opportunities for achievement that will raise the bar for all students.
And in this final article titled 5 Ways to Build Equity in Your Classroom, the author talks about how to incorporate real-world learning into math lessons. The author also links equity and social justice as a means of giving students the opportunity to think about the world around them.
By clicking on the links to the articles above, you will be able to read more about creating equitable classrooms. Under this week's Intentional Toolkit, I have shared a short video clip that highlights one school district that supports the work of equity. As always, I hope you find these resources useful.
While the fight for Equity in education has been debated for many years, perhaps it was given a different name, but the fact still remains: Students are capable of achieving when barriers are lifted, labels are placed at the wayside, and opportunities to learn are given to every child. In a classroom that promotes equity, a student's demographics, proficiency in English, or gender are not deciding factors that predict student's participation and achievement in rich-tasks related learning opportunities. As educators it is important that we take the lead in order to promote authentic learning opportunities free of biases for every student; this is a step towards equitable excellence! Until next time, go out there and be GREAT!
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