Equity in Education
By Talitha Batts & Rasheda Kelley
Social justice plays a critical role in education. It is an important aspect of education as it promotes fairness, equity, and inclusivity for all students regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, and other factors. This helps to create a safe and supportive learning environment where all students can succeed. It is important to foster a classroom environment that values and respects diversity, inclusivity, and equity.
For example, the distribution of educational materials to students comes with the responsibility of ensuring the resources are fair. This equitable treatment ensures that students have a safeguard to their learning atmosphere. In research from Alvarez (2019), there are several gaps in education such as the lack of technology, older versions of books, and the non-existence of substantial art programs. Specifically, in low-income areas with an increased minority population. Implementing social justice in education has a significant impact on student learning capabilities. The following recommendations communicate ways to approach social justice in curriculums.
Incorporate diverse perspectives and voices in the materials and resources used in the classroom. Educators must understand that every student has a unique experience with bias or discrimination. Intersectionality provides insight into the many layers that interconnect race, class, and gender. According to North (2006), the recognition of the different dynamics of students gives educators an opportunity to focus on a strategic approach to implementing social justice in curriculums. The comprehension of intersectionality shows students that educators are progressive in providing an inclusive learning experience. Incorporate diverse perspectives and voices in the materials and resources used in the classroom.
Integrate Productive Conversations in the Classroom
Social Justice is a topic that can benefit from the discussion. Educators should implement enriching conversations with students. Encourage critical thinking and dialogue around issues of systemic oppression and inequality. Discussions such as inclusion and equity in schools can be thought-provoking dialogue sessions that produce positive solutions. It is a progressive approach to ensuring all students co-exist in the discussion of challenging matters in society.
Plan A Community Service Project
Social Justice is a subject matter that involves action. Educators can incorporate a community service project to ensure social justice in curriculums. They can integrate case studies, simulations, and real-world examples to illustrate how social justice issues impact individuals and communities. A project to serve the community is a great way for all students to understand the issues in society and ways to improve them. According to Bright et al. (2013), creating different learning spaces such as digital learning promotes the progression of equity in education and social justice in the classroom. Projects that serve the community can positively impact the fair distribution of materials and resources to all students.
Álvarez, B. (2019). Why Social Justice in School Matters | NEA. https://www.nea.org/advocating-for-change/new-from-nea/why-social-justice-school-matters
Bright, N. G., Manchester, H., & Allendyke, S. (2013). Space, Place, and Social Justice in Education. Qualitative Inquiry, 19(10), 747–755. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800413503794
North, C. E. (2006). More Than Words? Delving Into the Substantive Meaning(s) of “Social Justice” in Education. Review of Educational Research, 76(4), 507–535. https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543076004507