"The right to quality education is, I believe, the perfect path to bridge the gap between different cultures and to reconcile various civilizations. Without such a right, the values of liberty, justice, and equality will have no meaning. Ignorance is by far the biggest danger and threat to humankind." (Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned).
The quest to eliminate educational disparities for a country's populace is paramount if the nation is to achieve its goals. Eliminating educational disparities is both a moral and civic imperative that requires collaboration among schools and organizations to ensure that all and sundry have the opportunity to learn and succeed (Department, 2019).
Equality would mean that students have the same access to resources and to opportunities (Diffen). However, because of histories of inequalities set in motion through histories of segregation of people and resources, students often don't have equal access to the same resources and opportunities.
Equity recognizes that students need to receive the specific resources that will help them achieve similar outcomes to those who have always had access to resources and opportunities. If for generations, student families have lived in redlined communities where banks, financial institutions, small business grants, easy access to transportation, health care, and homeownership have been denied - a process which has led to a frightening racial wealth gap - then students may need a host of resources to overcome the ramifications of this history.
This may mean access to teaching teams of teachers who track with them, to high-powered counseling, to trauma-informed instruction, to college grants, to transportation vouchers, to housing vouchers, to pro-bono legal or other services, among some examples.
When the combination of resources provided supports a student in arriving at outcomes similar to those who have easy access to these resources, these are more equitable outcomes. Here is one resource that explains equity versus equality well. https://www.diffen.com/difference/Equality-vs-Equity
But true equity would mean we work together to dismantle the histories of societal norms that create unequal access to resources and opportunities and that we rebuild those norms together.
It is a long-term goal of a just society; regardless of race, economic class, and gender, students should have the same access to life circumstances and educational opportunities that prosper them.
Fixing equity gaps in education is a vast undertaking that cannot take place overnight, and it takes the backing of conscious organizations and schools to push for this change.
Drawing on our ethnodramatic method, Honoring Stories and Integrating Curriculum™ , we offer training workshops and build teams that are adept in teaching about and addressing societal and local issues with students and/or employees.
Through our consulting and our workshops, companies are learning how to work with non-profit organizations and schools in cross-sector teams who are coming together to explore how areas such as housing and finance can be a part of better community-driven solutions for youth and families.
Companies are learning how to provide needed products, services, and educational platforms by ensuring their best resources are designed with the input of broader communities and that their best resources help solve pressing societal problems and broken systems.
Department. (2019). EQUITY IN MISSOURI . Missouri: Department of Higher Education and Workforce Developmengt.
Sarah Hobson, Ph.D. specializes in supporting teams, departments and schools, businesses, and government agencies in building inclusive innovative change-making communities who understand how to connect well with and join diverse populations in providing needed sustainable resources for all youth and families.