What is Equity in Education? 

Defining Equity in Education

Equity in education refers to ensuring that every student has access to the resources, opportunities, and educational support they need to succeed, regardless of their background, identity, or socioeconomic status. This concept moves beyond the premise of equality—where all students are given the same resources—to acknowledge that different students have different needs and barriers to success. Equity in education strives to identify and remove these barriers, aiming for an educational landscape where all students can achieve their full potential.

Core Ideas to Build Equity in Education

Reflective and Inclusive Practices

As Studio Pathways, we emphasize the importance of reflective practice in education, advocating for educators to constantly question their biases and assumptions about students from diverse backgrounds​. Our methodology underlines the necessity of inclusive language and structures that recognize and meet the diverse needs of students in terms of gender, culture, ability, race, age, and socio-economics.

Embracing Complexity and Cultural Relevance

Both Mariah Rankine-Landers and Jessa Brie Moreno champion the use of culturally appropriate materials and the centering of communities of color in educational content​ ​. This approach aligns with the idea that education should reflect the diverse realities and histories of all students, not just the dominant narrative. It's about making learning relevant and affirming to students' identities and experiences.

Democratizing Learning Through the Arts

As educators we can esteem to emphasize the power of the arts to democratize learning and promote equity. By making learning visible and engaging students in the creative process, educators can facilitate deeper connections to the material and offer diverse paths to understanding​ ​.

Building More Equitable Learning Experiences

Start with Self-reflection

Educators should begin by examining their own biases and understanding how these might affect their interactions with and expectations of students. This ongoing process of self-reflection is crucial for creating a learning environment that supports all students equitably.

Create Culturally Responsive Curriculum

Incorporate a curriculum that uses the science of learning centered on the mechanics of how our brains build and encode new information.  With the knowledge that our brains are built on culture we should center the diverse range of learners in our classrooms by focusing on the acquisition of knowledge through the arts (the primary ways we engage and retain information). This involves selecting materials and designing lessons that recognize and value students' backgrounds, but developing a keen intersectional way of understanding individuals.  The embodiment of an orientation designed to fostering a sense of belonging and respect in the classroom is done through ongoing reflective development of the teacher-self. 

Nurture an Inclusive Environment

By integrating culturally relevant pedagogies and ensuring accessibility, the learning environment acts as a teacher that respects and values the lived experiences of all students​ ​. This means adapting spaces to cater to various learning styles and needs, making learning accessible to everyone, and enriching the curriculum with materials that celebrate students beyond dominant narratives held in education. 

Creating a reflective and inclusive learning environment involves more than just physical arrangements—it's about fostering a space that reflects and respects the diverse cultural backgrounds and identities of every student​​. This includes the careful selection of materials, decorations, and resources that mirror the diverse world students navigate daily, ensuring that every child sees themselves represented in the classroom.

Engage in Community and Family Collaboration

Work closely with communities and families to understand the specific needs, cultural orientations and lineages of students. This collaboration can enrich the curriculum and ensure that educational practices are supportive and relevant to students’ lives outside of school.

Practice Equity in Assessment

Adopt assessment methods that fairly evaluate the progress and abilities of all students, recognizing the diverse ways in which students demonstrate understanding and mastery of content. 

In conclusion, equity in education is not just an ideal but a necessary practice that requires constant reflection, action, and collaboration among educators, students, and communities. By embracing and evolving new insights and approaches,  educators can begin to dismantle the barriers to success that many students face, fostering a more just and equitable educational landscape.

Develop Equity Practices