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What Is Educational Equality and Why Does It Matter 28 May, 2021   

One topic that is being raised increasingly more often in the world of education is the question of equality. Educational equity has become a central focus of many schools and colleges over the past few decades, and the conversation surrounding it only continues to grow more nuanced. The question of how to achieve both equality and equity in the classroom now garners so much attention that there are even entire college courses devoted to the subject.

Students in the field of education and development will often find themselves confronted with the need to come up with an equality definition and to understand the difference between equality vs equity in education. Often, teachers will assign their students essays for which they have to research the topic of equality. The benefit of writing a research paper under these kinds of titles is that the students’ findings can then be used to implement positive change in the classroom.

Students who are new to these topics may at first struggle with what to write about. Luckily, when it comes to these kinds of essays about equality; there are plenty of free examples online that outline exactly how to tackle the subject. Writing resources such as Gradesfixer.com offer useful sample essays on equality and summaries of the topic, and its history can be found online. Resources such as these are key to understanding what it means to speak of equality in the school system, its history, and exactly why does it matter.


What is educational equality?

Educational equality refers to the idea that students should have an equal opportunity to education regardless of characteristics such as race, gender, disability, sexuality, or class. Characteristics such as these have been used throughout history to systematically exclude almost every minority from receiving a proper education, and it is only really in the last century that this has begun to change in society.

Rather than be excluded from education or relegated to only particular niches, academic equality refers to a world in which everybody begins on the same foot within the education system and doesn’t have to experience setbacks based on factors outside of their control.

There are many questions to answer when it comes to defining what academic parity looks like. Something as abstract as equality has many different parameters by which it can be measured. School demographics, student achievements, the input of resources, and the outcomes that they achieve are all factors in measuring whether or not this kind of parity has been achieved. 


The history of educational equality

 

In the past, being born a woman, part of an ethnic minority, or with a disability often meant being excluded from receiving a full education. Only in the late 19th century did women see themselves begin to be admitted to established universities and research institutes. By the end of World War I, only two-thirds of children were enrolled in school as a consequence of poverty and a lack of educational resources. As late as the 1950s, schools across the United States of America were heavily segregated based on race

It has taken a combination of shifting social attitudes, and the continued canvassing of these groups in society, in order to open up academic spaces to all. Sometimes these moves towards equality have been natural social shifts, whereas other times, they have been precipitated by government legislation. Famous academic legal cases such as Brown vs. Board of Education have resulted in sweeping changes that bring academic equality closer to becoming a reality. 


Equality versus equity in the modern school system 

When we speak of educational equality, we must also acknowledge how it differs from educational equity. Whereas educational equality means treating each student the same, equity refers to making sure that each student has an equally sufficient set of resources available to them to help them succeed. This means that disadvantaged neighborhoods, or students dealing with physical or social setbacks should have greater resources made available to them in order to safeguard the success of their education. Making sure that schools are dedicated to maintaining strong equity policies in place is the only way to ensure that we as a society achieve true educational equality.


While the education system has come a long way over the past century, true equity is still something we have not yet achieved. A continued combination of social, political, and economic efforts are required in order to ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to succeed.


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