Monaliza Maximo CHIAN, Jeremy NG, Lily LEI, Andrew Pau HOANG
The terms “equity” and “diversity” are ever-present in discussions related to providing socially just education for all, with multiple definitions and conceptualisations. In education, equity emerges from critiques of the term equality, which emphasises providing the same resources, opportunities and treatment to all students. Contrastingly, equity emphasises the redistribution of common goods due to historical and structural inequalities of condition, “to create systems and schools that share a greater likelihood of being equal” (de los Santos et al., 2020, p. 2). In other words, whereas equality aims to give students the same supports with the assumption that they can be equally successful, equity aims to ensure students will be successful by providing them supports in response to their diverse needs. “Diversity”, however, is situationally and contextually defined. Generally, it encompasses the various characteristics, identities and interactions that exist within classrooms, schools and communities (OECD, 2018).
Equity for diversity embraces students’ diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, recognising the benefits these differences bring to learning communities (Forghani-Arani et al., 2019). Promoting and sustaining equity for diversity thus requires understanding past and current diversity issues, and critical reflection upon one’s own values, perspectives, and practices. This can support educators to systematically leverage the depth and dynamics of diverse learning communities, identifying appropriate resources and opportunities to meet students’ needs. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of adapting educational equity issues to changing learning conditions. For example, shifts to remote/online learning have laid bare the necessity of ensuring that every student has equitable access to digital tools, digital literacy, and technical learning supports.
Below are some relevant and timely school examples, internet resources, and scholarly contributions that raise issues, considerations, challenges as we rethink and re-envision ways to design, create, and research learning opportunities and teaching processes to provide equitable resources and opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.
de los Santos, P. J., Moreno-Guerrero, A., Marin-Marin, J., & Costa R. S. (2020). The term equity in education: A literature review with scientific mapping in Web of Science. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(10), 3526.
Highly-Cited Academic Articles (Based on analysed results from Web of Science)
Articles Published in/about the Region
Yuen, M. T., Chan, S., Chan, C., Fung, D. C. L., Cheung, W. M., Kwan, T., & Leung, F. K. S. (2018). Differentiation in key learning areas for gifted students in regular classes: A project for primary school teachers in Hong Kong. Gifted Education International, 34(1), 36-46.
Education Bureau. (n.d.). TEKLA at senior secondary level: Subject-based strategies – Annotated exemplars on implementation practices for the senior secondary curriculum and catering for learner diversity.
HKU Faculty of Education. (n.d.). Quality Education Fund Thematic Network - Tertiary institutes on catering for culturally and linguistically diverse learners in primary mathematics classrooms – Developing a professional network.
Maloney, T., Hayes, N., Crawford-Garrett, K., & Sassi, K. (2019). Preparing and supporting teachers for equity and racial justice: Creating culturally relevant, collective, intergenerational, co-created spaces. Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 41(4-5), 252-281.
Poekert, P., Swaffield, S., Demir, E. K., & Wright, S. (2020). Leadership for professional learning towards educational equity: A systematic literature review. Professional Development in Education, 46(11), 1-22.
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