A-1 Checking My Equity Systems ECO

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1 A-1 Checking My Equity Systems ECO Enid Lee, Educational Consultant A culturally conscious teacher checks the assumptions he/she is making of students and their families on the basis of culture, language, race, and class; and he/she considers how those assumptions are shaped by his/her own culture, language, race and class. Those assumptions are reflected in at least these seven areas. Ask yourself the following questions, and use them to check your own equity system as you plan for your students. Activities & Resources for Instruction 1. Which students, in terms of gender, culture, immigration status, socioeconomic status, can relate to these activities and this material? 2. How can I relate these activities to the experiences, prior knowledge, goals of all the students? 3. What examples/illustrations can I use to connect the key concepts to students lives? 1

2 Nature of the Learning Task 1. What do I want students to learn from the task? 2. Have I included a range of tasks to engage the realities of experiences in the room? 3. Is the purpose of the task clear and challenging to all students? 4. If students are not on task, what are they doing instead? 5. Is there a pattern in terms of gender, culture, language background, race, seating arrangement, status in the classroom among those who are on-task and those who are not? Student Talk 1. Which students are talking while I am teaching? 2. Is there a pattern among those who are talking and among those who appear to be listening (proximity to me, their relationship to the topic I am teaching about)? 3. What are these students talking about? 4. Do I incorporate student talk into my teaching? 5. What are some of the times when these same students have been engaged? 6. What are the agreements we have in place for listening to and learning from everyone in the room who is part of our learning community? 7. How can I use these questions to understand what is taking place and to redirect the students attention to the subject at hand? 2

3 Student Participation 1. Which individual students are not participating? 2. Which groups of students are not participating? 3. What is the nature of the participation I am expecting? 4. What have I put in place to encourage whole group discussion or to create opportunities for many voices to be heard during the class? 5. Is there opportunity for students who speak English as a second language to rehearse their answer in pairs, for example? 6. Is the climate one in which mistakes are seen as opportunities to learn? 7. Are partially correct answers acceptable and also opportunities for learning? 8. Am I giving appropriate wait time for different students depending on their need and strength? 9. How much am I talking in comparison to the students talking? 10. What opportunities and support have I created for students to lead the discussion and ask some of the questions? 3

4 Teacher Attention 1. Where do I seem to direct my questions? 2. Do I seem to get the answers from the same students most of the time? 3. What is my proximity to those students who seem to be engaged and those who do not seem to be engaged? 4. Do I move around the room and make contact with different groups of students in terms of their seating arrangements, their familiarity with the language of instruction, racial backgrounds? 5. Do I address my questions or attention to the students who are not raising their hands? Teacher Tone 1. What words and tone of voice do I use to express my expectations of the class? 2. Do I begin by threatening or highlighting the negative consequences that will ensue if the students don t comply with my expectations? 3. Do I stress the positive, intrinsic outcomes that will be experienced through their participation? 4. Do I express high expectations of all students in terms of my knowledge of them as individuals who are capable of demonstrating their best effort? 5. Do I redirect students to the task at hand by finding out what has taken them away from it? 6. Do I redirect their attention by reminding them of an instance when they did good work and made a sincere effort? 4

5 Teacher Directions 1. Which individual students and which groups are following my directions? 2. Which are not? 3. Is there a pattern with either group? 4. What strategies have I used to ensure that my directions are heard and understood and that the logic of my directions is clear? 5. Did I attract the attention of the entire class before I began giving the directions? 6. Do I give directions in both spoken and written form? 7. Do I give a chance for questions and clarifications after the directions have been given? 8. Do I sometimes build in an opportunity for students to review the directions with the class so that I can see if they are understood and whether they reflect my intentions? 9. Do we have agreements in the class which encourage students to help each other in the spirit of a learning community to work on the activities at hand? 10. What are the students doing when they are not following directions? 5

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