NEED: Using Equitable Instructional Practices

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Using equitable instructional practices means that all students have the opportunities and resources they need to succeed in school. These practices are designed to eliminate achievement gaps and to acknowledge and connect with students’ cultural assets and ways of learning. To use equitable instructional practices, educators must understand the meaning of equity and their own cultural identities. Policies and practices must be examined and adjusted, if necessary, to promote equitable outcomes for all students.

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Strategy 1: Develop understanding of the meaning of equity

“Breaking Down Equity-Oriented Professional Learning for the Novice” (ARG)

D. R. Lazzell & S. M. Skelton

For: Administrators

  • Explains five criteria for designing equity-oriented professional development.

“Framing Equity: Helping Students ‘Play the Game’ and ‘Change the Game’” (ARG)

R. Gutiérrez

For: Teachers, administrators

  • Introduces a framework for equity that includes the dimensions of Access, Achievement, Identity, and Power.
  • Argues that, beyond knowledge and skills related to equity, teachers need an “equity stance” that embraces and works to balance the tensions between these four dimensions.

Aurora Institute (WOLR)

For: Teachers, administrators

  • Includes print reports that address equity and competency-based education, and contain links to other resources related to equity.

Equity and Diversity Standards (LCT)

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)

For: Teachers

  • Highlights teaching standards in various content areas related to equity, diversity, fairness, access, and knowledge of culture.
  • Can be used as a tool for a variety of purposes (e.g., to assess themselves, to increase their knowledge of these topics, to initiate or frame discussions related to equity).

Kirwin Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity (PD)

The Ohio State University

For: Teachers, administrators

  • Includes free online training modules on implicit bias.
  • Features free virtual forums on a variety of topics.
Strategy 2: Purposefully integrate equity into teaching practices

Closing the Gap: Creating Equity in the Classroom (ARG)

Hanover Research

For: Teachers, administrators

  • Strategies, resources, and tools to improve the quality of instruction and academic expectations in the classroom so that all students have the resources they need to succeed in high school and beyond.
  • Includes a chart that explains the roles of administrators and teachers in establishing an equitable learning environment, strategies for equitable classroom management, a list of best practices for diversity training, and a diagnostic checklist for culturally responsive instruction.

Designing for Equity: Leveraging Competency-Based Education to Ensure All Students Succeed (ARG)

C. Sturgis & K. Casey

For: Teachers, administrators

  • Equity strategies for personalized, competency-based education to ensure a more equitable K–12 education system.
  • The equity principles within this report can be used to develop an equity agenda within their personalized, competency-based systems.
  • Competency-based education holds promise as a uniquely powerful model for fostering equity, but only if equity is an intentional design feature embedded in the culture, structure, and pedagogy.

National Equity Project Website (WOLR)

For: Teachers

  • Includes a variety of tools in its resource section (e.g., the “Building Rapport: Cultural Synchronization Questions” that serve as a starting point for teachers to gain a deeper and holistic understanding of how a specific student is learning, thinking, and making decisions).
  • Includes a section on the connection between social-emotional learning and equity, with a table that provides examples of ways to situate equity within social-emotional learning.

Developing U.S. Educators’ Skills in Teaching Across Lines of Sexuality, Religion, and Nationality (LCT)

M. Blackburn & Y. Deiri

For: Teachers, administrators

  • Prepares U.S. school leaders, counselors, teachers, and other stakeholders with ways to ensure the safety and engagement of students when discussing topics across the lines of sexuality, religion, and nationality.
  • This tool focuses on two frameworks: engagement and safety.

PBS Learning Media: Virtual Professional Learning Series (PD)

For: Teachers, administrators

  • Provides videos about anti-racist teaching and about discussing race and racism with children.
Strategy 3: Use leadership practices that promote equity

“Increasing Equity for All Students” (ARG)

S. Yost

For: Administrators

  • Provides steps that leaders can take within their schools in order to reduce bias and serve all students equitably, increasing all students’ opportunities for success.

“Considerations for Professional Development in Equity-Oriented Instructional Practices” (ARG)

T. Moore, R. G. Jackson, T. S. Kyser, S. M. Skelton, & K. K. Thorius

For: Teachers, administrators

  • Highlights the importance of equity leaders intentionally seeking out opportunities for equity-oriented professional development.
  • Equity leaders must be equipped to discern the differences between forms of professional development that may not facilitate systemic change towards ensuring quality learning opportunities for all students, and equity-oriented professional development which has the potential to transform learning communities.

Leadership Practices for Advancing Educational Equity (WOLR)

S. M. Skelton & T. S. Kyser

For: Administrators

  • Explains the three C’s for leading transformative change towards equity, describes what it means to be critically conscious, and explains how implicit bias and power and privilege affect student outcomes.

The Leadership for Equity Assessment & Development (LEAD) Tool (LCT)

Education Northwest

For: Teachers, administrators

  • Helps school leadership teams start dialogue and sustain action in expanding educational opportunities, improving school climate, and attaining equitable outcomes.
  • Provides teams with the opportunity to examine practices and policies through the lens of 10 research-based equitable practices and to bring families, communities, and other stakeholders into the conversation.
  • Teams can use the rubrics to assess their personal and organizational strengths, challenges, and progress.

Equity Toolkit for Administrators (LCT)

Colorado Department of Education

For: Administrators

  • Provides resources that support administrators’ efforts to work with their school communities to create plans and action steps for intervention and maintenance of an equitable learning environment for all students.
  • Supports school and community leaders in paying attention to issues of equity; beginning “courageous conversations” about these issues; and addressing bias, harassment, prejudice, and discrimination in their school community.
Strategy 4: Develop practices and policies that support equitable outcomes for all students

“Creating Equitable Learning Spaces for Indigenous Students” (ARG)

H. Mackey

For: Teachers, administrators

  • Provides educators, administrators, and community stakeholders with an overview of Native American education, provisions for Indian Education embedded in Title VI of the Every Student Succeeds Act, and research-based strategies for effectively meeting the unique educational needs of Indigenous students and communities.

Investing in Equal Opportunity: What Would it Take to Build the Balance Wheel? (ARG)

J. K. Rice

For: Administrators

  • Revisits Horace Mann’s vision of education as the balance wheel of society.
  • Describes resources and services that are within the traditional education sphere as well as provisions and necessary resources that would expand the role of education to address student needs in ways that often are already expected of schools.
  • Discusses the challenges of pursuing equal opportunity in the current policy context that promotes high-stakes accountability, resegregation, and privatization.

For Each and Every Child: A Strategy for Educational Equity and Excellence (ARG)

U.S. Department of Education, Equity and Excellence Commission

For: Administrators

  • Provides advice on the disparities in meaningful educational opportunities that give rise to the achievement gap, with a focus on systems of finance, and to recommend ways in which federal policies could address such disparities.
  • Provides recommendations in five areas to guide federal policymaking: equitable school finance systems; effective teachers, principals, and curricula; early childhood education with an academic focus; a range of supports to mitigate the effects of poverty; and accountability and governance reforms.

Equal Opportunity for Deeper Learning (ARG)

P. Noguera, L. Darling-Hammond, & D. Friedlaender

For: Teachers, administrators

  • Equity-based reforms in teaching and learning is the key to expanding access to deeper learning, which includes mastering the ability to communicate effectively, work well in teams, solve complex problems, persist in the face of challenges, and monitor and direct one’s own learning.
  • Describes obstacles that currently prevent schools from delivering high-quality instruction to all students; examines educational models, structures, and practices that facilitate deeper learning; and considers how policy, practice, and research can be aligned to support the development of pedagogy for deeper learning in schools that serve students placed at-risk of school failure.

Equity in Education: Key Questions to Consider (ARG)

B. Atchison, L. Diffey, A. Rafa, & M. Sarubbi

For: Teachers, administrators

  • To move the needle on equity in education, the Education Commission of the States proposes increased intentionality of policy assessment and development across four pillars of work: teaching and leading, learning and transitioning, measuring and improving, and financing.
  • Includes a list of key equity-minded questions to consider within each of these target areas.
  • Serves as a guide for state education leaders, and advocates for equity, as they evaluate policy options across the P20 spectrum.

Equity Matters: Understanding Equity Literacy (WOLR)

Teaching Tolerance

For: Teachers, administrators

  • Assists teams of participants in using the four principals of equity literacy to define a shared vision of equity in their school, uncover and disrupt existing inequities, and draft a plan to create and sustain equitable policies and practices for all students and their families.

Racial Equity Tools (WOLR)

For: Teachers, administrators

  • Supports people and groups working for inclusion, racial equity, and social justice.
  • Displays a wide array of tools, ideas and strategies for racial equity advocates and includes a clearinghouse of resources and links from numerous sources.
  • The Site Map includes an introduction to the theory behind a racial equity lens, community racial equity assessment tools, tools for creating advocacy and implementation plans, and tips on how to remain focused and maintain sustained effort in furtherance of your racial equity goals.