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Academic Equity: Individual Resources

Topics: Equitable Approaches | Equitable Instruction

Equitable Approaches

What is universal design for learning?
This resource provides an overview of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and how it can be applied in classrooms. It notes that "the goal of UDL is to use a variety of teaching methods to remove any barriers to learning and give all students equal opportunities to succeed. It's about building in flexibility that can be adjusted for every student's strengths and needs."

Five paradigm shifts for educators
Dr. Paul Gorski provides a clear one-page guide to educators as they consider becoming more equity literate. Educators may use this tool to consider their current approaches to instruction as well their current adopted paradigms. These shifts include advocating equity, eradicating marginalizing practices, self-examination, fighting for the rights of marginalized families, and committing to equity.

Solving the Achievement Gap Through Equity, Not Equality
Dr. Lindsey Ott offers a 9-minute TED Talk describing the importance of solving the achievement gap through equity, and not equality. This distinction is crucial in understanding the definition of equity in practice. In education, equality reinforces the achievement gap by applying the same expectations and norms to unequal groups. Instead, equity is needed: giving the needed resources to each individual group.

Since 2014, Understood has served families of kids who learn and think differently. In 2012, their Workplace Initiative was created and has helped people with all types of disabilities find meaningful employment at inclusive companies. Their programs for Families, Educators, and Young Adults focus on empowering people who learn and think differently and those who support them, offer customized, accessible resources and a compassionate community.

Exploring Equity Issues: Promoting a Safe and Welcoming Environment for Immigrant Students
This resource offers strategies for creating educational spaces for immigrant students to thrive.

Equitable Instruction

Center for the Collaborative Classroom "A Conversation about Instructional Equity"
In this article, Zaretta Hammond, an author and national education consultant, discusses instructional equity both from the big picture and classroom practice. The article outlines the differences between multicultural education, social justice education and culturally responsive education and provides useful context for schools and educators beginning to discuss instructional equity.

Examples of engaging instruction to increase equity in education
This technical brief is based on the 5-point multicomponent approach to reduce disproportionality from the National PBIS Center ( This brief elaborates on point one, regarding academic instruction, by defining key principles of evidence-based instructional practices. The instructional practices reviewed, include: Using explicit instruction, Build and prime background knowledge, Increase opportunities to respond, and Provide performance feedback. Educators may choose to use this tool to enhance their current practice, in an effort to reduce behavioral challenges in the classroom setting.