It can be difficult for students in any class to understand the importance of equity in their classroom. “It’s not fair!” is a common reaction from students who observe other students getting benefits that they did not receive. For example, some students with specific learning disabilities may receive additional time to complete assignments. Wardle (2013) points out a clear distinction between equality and equity noting that “Equal education is providing equal resources and opportunities for all students to succeed in education” (p. 51). On the other hand, according to Banks (2013), equitable education “goes beyond equal, and to some extent contradicts it, in that it requires tailoring the educational approach… to each student, based on the student’s individual and cultural characteristics, so the student can achieve to his or her full potential,” (as cited in Wardle, 2013, p. 51).
Initial Post: This discussion asks you to reflect on the importance of valuing equity over equality in the classroom and in life outside the classroom. You will identify at least two examples of equity versus equality in popular culture that you might be able to use in a class to help your students understand the value of equity. This might include advertisements (pictures), song lyrics, or commercials (linked from Youtube.com, for example). Try to locate examples that could be used in a class you might teach now or in the future. Next, briefly reflect on the role equity plays in the classroom by explaining how you would use your selected examples to help students understand the differences between equity and equality, and why equity is more important in the classroom.
Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts. In your responses, comment on the degree to which you feel their examples will be helpful in promoting student understanding of the value of equity in the classroom and ask them to elaborate if needed. As with previous discussions, though two replies are the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and learning, you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you. This will further the conversation and provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real world experiences with this topic.