Designing Equitable Learning

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“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” 

Martin Luther King Jnr

Monday 18 January was Martin Luther King day in the US, and to coincide with that, Fielding International held the first webinar in a series titled “Equity Series: Inspiring Conversations

This webinar was titled “Designing equitable learning” in which participants discussed the theme of Change is coming: How can we prepare for our new vision of educational equity?. I had the privilege of participating and have added the recording of the session at the end of this post for you to view. The notes in this post are simply my record of some of the key things (including links and resources) that I gleaned from the session.

  • I’d really recommend watching even the first part with the presentation from Karla Vigil, co-founder of the ‘equity institute’ based in Rhode Island (
  • Following her is a short presentation by Dr Kaleb Rashad from the Centre for Love and Justice (
  • Their presentations are littered with gems that apply to the thinking and work we do in education here in New Zealand, and their websites provide heaps of inspiration for how to engage with and take the equity agenda forward. 
  • There’s a link to the slides used in the webinar here – The book referred to in the slides looks like it could be really interesting – one of the authors spoke towards the end about how it came to be and the key messages in it – In Search of Deeper Learning.

There’s so much from this webinar worth revisiting to reflect on and review – so many different perspectives and interesting initiatives that we could learn from and apply here in NZ. Here’s a quick list of some of the key links that may be of interest to some – or perhaps to circulate among colleagues.

  • Projects page from the Equity Institute
  • A beautiful revolution – song used by Kaleb Rashad to introduce his talk
  • Justice and Design page from the Centre of Love and Justice webiste – there were a number of people from architectual firms participating, with a focus on how the design of learning spaces contributes to equity, inclusion and diversity.
  • Promise54 – offer a survey that provides a system level view of equity in a community – thought there may be something worth pursuing here in terms of a CORE Equity index. People in the webinar recommended this
  • Racial Equity Institute – heaps of ideas and resouces on this website
  • Groundwater approach – report from the Racial Equity Institute on how to identify and address issues of systemic racism
  • MoneyTrain: ToastUp – music video produced by a group of young people in the High School for Recording Arts – powerful backstory shared in the webinar
  • Newfies
  • Waking up white – another book highly recommended – used as a focus for ‘affinity group’ discussion in some districts
  • Center for School Change – initiative a letter to the incoming president regarding change they believe needs to happen – soliciting signatures from around the country
  • Designing Equitable Learning calls to action – Mira board set up to capture ideas

I’m looking forward to participating in the next in the series which is on the theme of Cultivating transformative conditions for student-centered learning – which for my NZ colleagues is on Wednesday 27 January at 6am. You can still register here.

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