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An Equity Literacy Workshop for Educators

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  1. An Equity Literacy Workshop for Educators By Paul C. Gorski October 21, 2014

  2. I. Introduction: Who We Are • Who is in the room? • My background and lenses

  3. I. Introduction: Agenda • Introductions (in progress) • Do some exercises • Talk about some stuff • Deepen our equity literacy • Learn some strategies • Leave happy

  4. II. Some Initial Reflections

  5. II. Reflection #1 • What is the most important indicator of how successful a teacher will be teaching students in poverty? • (Why are poor people poor?)

  6. II. Reflecting on Reflection #1 • The focus group and the diversity tie: Advantaged view vs. disenfranchised view • Learning how to identify the problem: ideology and world view • The problem with the problem—harder to change ideology than practice

  7. II. Reflection #2 • John and the “race” problem story • Not about evil racist educators • About learning to see what we’re socialized not to see • So what we need: (1) humility, (2) willingness to grapple with cognitive dissonance

  8. II. Practice • A Brief Multiple Choice Standardized Test

  9. Quiz A Princeton study of elite universities found that legacy applicants—people, usually white and wealthy, with a parent or grandparent who attended the institution—are far more privileged by legacy status than applicants of color are by affirmative action policies. The study determined that legacy status was equivalent to how much of a boost to an applicant’s SAT score? • 20 points • 90 points • 160 points

  10. Quiz A Princeton study of elite universities found that legacy applicants—people, usually white and wealthy, with a parent or grandparent who attended the institution—are far more privileged by legacy status than applicants of color are by affirmative action policies. The study determined that legacy status was equivalent to how much of a boost to an applicant’s SAT score? • 20 points • 90 points • 160 points

  11. Quiz According to the U.S. Census Bureau, how much more likely are African American and Latino mortgage applicants to be turned down for a loan than white applicants, even after controlling for employment, financial, and neighborhood factors? • 30% more likely • 60% more likely • 90% more likely

  12. Quiz According to the U.S. Census Bureau, how much more likely are African American and Latino mortgage applicants to be turned down for a loan than white applicants, even after controlling for employment, financial, and neighborhood factors? • 30% more likely • 60% more likely • 90% more likely

  13. Quiz A majority of poor people in the U.S. live in: • urban areas • suburban areas • rural areas

  14. Quiz A majority of poor people in the U.S. live in: • urban areas • suburban areas • rural areas

  15. Quiz Who is more likely to be addicted to drugs or alcohol? • Poor people • Middle class people • Wealthy people

  16. Quiz Who is more likely to be addicted to drugs or alcohol? • Poor people • Middle class people • Wealthy people

  17. Quiz What proportion of homeless men in the United States are military veterans? • 1 in 20 • 1 in 12 • 1 in 4

  18. Quiz What proportion of homeless men in the United States are military veterans? • 1 in 20 • 1 in 12 • 1 in 4

  19. Quiz The three richest people in the world have as much wealth as: • the 8 poorest countries • the 48 poorest countries • the 308 poorest countries

  20. Quiz The three richest people in the world have as much wealth as: • the 8 poorest countries • the 48 poorest countries • the 308 poorest countries * * *

  21. Reflecting on Quiz • Not that we should know the answers to these questions, but that we should reflect on the places our perceptions are confused. This is the first step toward equity literacy: Recognizing that gross inequalities exist.

  22. MLK: “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the … Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice.” Second step toward equity literacy: be willing to understand the root of the problem.

  23. In other words: Inequities in schools, and outcome inequalities, persist largely because of (1) inequalities and in access and opportunity, and (2) inaction (or misinformed action) and unintentional participation by well-intended people. There is no progress to be made here without recognition of this reality.

  24. Gross Inequities 24 Compared with low-poverty U.S. schools, high-poverty U.S. schools have: More teachers teaching in areas outside their certification subjects; More serious teacher turnover problems; More teacher vacancies; Larger numbers of substitute teachers; More limited access to computers and the Internet; Inadequate facilities (such as science labs);

  25. Gross Inequities (cont’d) 25 More dirty or inoperative bathrooms; More evidence of vermin such as cockroaches and rats; Insufficient classroom materials Less rigorous curricula; Fewer experienced teachers; Lower teacher salaries; Larger class sizes; and Less funding.

  26. Gross Inequities (Seriously, I’m not making this up…) 26 Loughrey, D., and Woods, C. (2010). Sparking the imagination: Creative experts working collaboratively with children, teachers and parents to enhance educational opportunities. Support for Learning, 25(2), 81-90. Palardy, G. J. (2008). Differential school effects among low, middle, and high social class composition schools: A multiple group, multilevel latent growth curve analysis. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 19(1), 21-49. Sepe, C., and Roza, M. (2010). The disproportionate impact of seniority-based layoffs on poor, minority students. Seattle, WA: Center for Reinventing Public Education.

  27. III. Conceptualizing Equity

  28. III. Introducing Equity Literacy • Shift from focusing centrally on vague notions of “culture” to focusing centrally on equity • Understanding culture or cultural diversity is not the same as understanding equity or inequity

  29. III. Introducing Equity Literacy Four Abilities • Recognize inequity (even subtle) • Respond to inequity (immediate term, interpersonal or institutional) • Redress inequity (institutional or systemic) • Sustain equity

  30. III. Conceptualizing Equity • How do you define “equity”? What does it look like?

  31. III. Conceptualizing Equity Important Concepts • Equity vs. Equality • Deficit Ideology • Interest Convergence Theory • Hidden Curriculum

  32. III. Conceptualizing Equity Important Concept #1 • Equity vs. Equality

  33. The Big Difference

  34. III. Conceptualizing Equity Important Concept #2 • Deficit Ideology

  35. The Three Ideologies • Deficit ideology • “Grit” ideology • Structural ideology Low-income student not doing well in class. One evening you contact a parent who doesn’t respond. What are your assumptions?

  36. III. Conceptualizing Equity Important Concept #3 Interest Convergence Theory Why schools celebrate diversity but don’t take on equity work What is your limit? 36

  37. III. Conceptualizing Equity Important Concept #4 Hidden Curriculum 37

  38. III. Conceptualizing Equity The Four Curricula Official Explicit Implicit or “hidden” Null 38

  39. III. Conceptualizing Equity The Official Curriculum What the institution publicly tells the world about itself Mission statements, vision statements, syllabi, other official and public documents 39

  40. III. Conceptualizing Equity The Explicit Curriculum What is purposefully taught in the curriculum or co-curriculum The learning activities, readings, assignments—that which is assessed 40

  41. III. Conceptualizing Equity The Implicit (or “Hidden”) Curriculum What is taught implicitly, usually without conscious purpose, through behavior, policy, relationships, and social conditions Often hidden in “the way things are”--hegemony 41

  42. III. Conceptualizing Equity The Null Curriculum Part of the hidden curriculum—that which is learned by what is omitted from the curriculum 42

  43. III. Conceptualizing Equity For your reflection: What were examples of the hidden curriculum of your schools? What were the implications of this hidden curriculum? Equity literacy lesson: Inequities often are subtle, so we must learn to recognize them in order to respond to them. 43

  44. III. Conceptualizing Equity Approaches to Equity • Heroes & Holidays (Food, Folks, and Fun) • Learning About Cultures • Mitigative and Support Programs • Equity (Transformative and Holistic)

  45. IV. Learning to Recognize Inequity

  46. IV. Learning to See 46

  47. IV. Learning to See The Nature of Stereotypes - in-group favor & diversity - looking for evidence to confirm existing ideology - about interpretation (why parents don’t show up) 47

  48. What Do You See? • Challenges low-income students and families experience outside schools that affect their experiences in schools; • Challenges low-income students and families experiences in schools.

  49. Pre-School • Less access • When they have access, it’s to lower-quality pre-school • According to brain research, this is critical because of the cognitive development that happens during pre-school years (Duncan, Ludwig, & Magnuson, 2007)

  50. Pollution • Air and water in low-income neighborhoods more polluted • More likely to live near hazardous production and storage sites (Walker et al, 2005)