Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Equity Principle

Here's a clip from NCTM's webpage on the Equity Principle:

So Equity does NOT mean that every student is treated the same.

That can be tough for new educators, especially here in America where all men are created equal is taken as a "self-evident" fact in our founding documents. (Except...)

Consider: My five year old is sometimes frustrated that he has to clean up his toys on his own, while his three year old sister gets help from Mom or Dad and so she finishes before he does. "Hmph," he says, "That's not fair!"

(Aside: He doesn't seem to have the same concerns about fairness when he sits down to read his favorite book while she is marched off for her afternoon nap.)

So it turns out the Equity Principle isn't about Equal treatment at all. In fact, that would be inherently INequitable, as this cartoon graphic illustrates nicely. 
Give each child the same amount of support, and one of them doesn't get to watch the game. But distribute that support more equitably, and everyone can enjoy the game.

The Equity Principle means setting a high bar AND providing each child with the amount they need to clear it.

What are some ways you see the Equity Principle at work in your school or classroom?

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