Equity Stand In ClassroomSeth Anandram Jaipuria School Ghaziabad
Ask any teacher anywhere what are some of the most critical challenges that they faced as a teacher and answers you will hear are nothing but examples of how difficult it can be to meet the various needs within a classroom. When conversations on the topic arise, there are often discussions from one of two extremes:
On one side you might hear about reasons why a teacher might believe that it is best to make sure that each student be expected to learn the same things. These beliefs often lead to practices where everyone receives the same instruction, followed by individual peer for students who were not able to follow classroom instructions. Equity here is believed to be related to equal outcomes.
On the other hand, some teachers might believe that it isn’t possible to expect every student to learn the same things at the same time. Their beliefs lead them to focus more attention on offering different groups of students with different learning opportunities. Equity here is viewed as meeting each child’s unique need.
We at Seth Anandram Jaipuria School understand each of these points of view, part of the issue between these two views is the overall view of what mathematics is. If mathematics is seen as a set of one-dimensional learned skills, where each skill is expected from every student, each learned in a specific sequence, it is difficult to imagine anything else. However, when mathematics is seen through the lens of our school i.e Seth Anandram Jaipuria, we might start to see jaipurians’ development of these connections as what can drive our decisions.
One way to think of a person’s understanding of mathematics is that it exists as a continuous process. At one end is a rich set of connections. At the other end of the continuity, ideas are viewed as disconnected pieces of information. A sound understanding of mathematics is one that sees the connections within mathematics and between mathematics and the world that is exactly what we practiced in Seth Anandram Jaipuria School.
For example: We as the teachers in Jaipuria know about different types of Learning Styles – Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic so our main objective is to use all three of them in our teaching to make it beneficial for all students. We use all three style in our classroom activities in which child acquires information best.
Activities such as ‘Make your own transport using mathematical shape’. In this activity we made different groups of children and in each group there are brilliant ones and challenging ones however they worked together and achieved the desired object. It is a way of learning with the help of peers. Later the struggling one got the opportunity to speak up about their transport, this way we assessed their understanding.
The two views mentioned above do not account for a view of mathematics where connections between concepts is a focus. Instead of seeing the issue as simply whether or not we want a classroom of students to be doing the same things or if we should be providing some students with different things, we should also consider what is actually being learned by the students.
Taking an Equity Stance for Jaipurians
So, what does any of this have to do with equity? Taking an equity stance means that we both believe that every jaipurian can achieve, and understand that every student at Seth Anandram Jaipuria might need different things from teachers. Keeping equity in mind requires us to analyze who has access to rich mathematical experiences and whose experiences are reduced to lower-level skills and needs proper guidance.
How do we aim for Equity in Seth Anandram Jaipuria?
When thinking about how we aim for equity in mathematics, there seems to be two key belief that help point us in the right direction:
- Expand WHO is considered a math student
- Expand WHAT is accepted as mathematics
The question is not whether all students can succeed in mathematics but whether the adults organizing mathematics learning opportunities can change traditional beliefs and practices to promote success for all.
‘Great teachers empathize with kids, respect them, and believe
that each one has something special that can be built upon’
CLASS – 2