This site is provided by the National Coalition for Equity in Education at the University of California in Santa Barbara. This organization's mission is to ensure that schools and colleges provide complete respect to people, allocate the necessary resources (material and human) for all people to learn at the highest level, and are proactive in eliminating inequity.
Type of Material:
Collection of resources.
Integrate the learning object into math and science education coursework to increase awareness about being proactive to eliminate inequity in education. Likewise, refer to these questions when articulating individual and school goals to prepare for making changes in practices.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The major purpose of the site is to explore research and experiences of math and science educators and then invite dialog and reflection regarding materials and staff development institutes that support and promote equity in math and science education. Specifically, the learning goal is to identify and promote practices and policies in educational settings that support human learning and develop strategies to eliminate those practices and policies that injure people and interfere with their learning
Target Student Population:
Teacher education faculty as well as preservice and inservice math and science teachers who are willing to become leaders who understand the depth and breadth of equity issues and are able to raise controversial issues while building unity.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Ability to listen as people talk about their thoughts, feelings, concerns, and early memories (as target, bystander, or perpetrator) of different forms of bias.
Evaluation and Observation
The strengths of the learning object's content include the resources and research available online regarding the promotion of equity in math and science education. In addition, the site invites dialog and reflection concerning ways to provide complete respect to all people, allocate resources for all people to learn at the highest level, and proact ways to eliminate inequity in education. The NCEE targets a serious problem: educational outcomes in the US are not progressing toward achievement of equity. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as "the Nation's Report Card, at grade 4, the gap between the average science scores of male and female students widened by three points and at grade 8, by five points, between 1996 and 2000. In 2000, White students had higher scores, on average, than Black or Hispanic students. In spite of national concerns and targeted funding by the National Science Foundation, the large gaps between subgroups' performance have remained relatively unchanged since 1996. (Data from ttp://www.nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/science/results/natsubgroups.asp) There is a tremendous need for resources to provide emotional and intellectual support to educators as they work for the transformation of educational settings. The NCEE suggests that educators must have extensive discussions on needed changes in practices and policies and to develop strategies, and that this should happen in conjunction with or after understanding personal stories so that the strategies are in deep personal understanding.
The questions asked in the Discussion Areas for Equity identify essential elements that should distinguish equitable from inequitable education. However,
models for transforming educational settings are only presented for sale as publications.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The site offers research, resources, and a virtual learning community to support and promote equity in math and science education. The "Discussion Areas for Equity" provide an effective point of integration for school and college classroom use.The eight areas that require discussion ? and some starting questions for each area - are outstanding. Classroom practices, Curriculum, Culture, Parents, Testing, School and district policies, and Universities are all important elements to consider. The questions provide a basis for opening important dialogue.
Since many who work hard on problems of inequity did not experience the disadvantage some of our students face, resources are needed to help leaders create healing communities. Rather than limiting the resources to the work of Julian Weissglass, links should provide materials recognized as useful for teachers who want to support all parents' participation in their children's education (especially recent immigrants, parents of color, and parents from low socioeconomic classes). For example, a model that works is the Society for Advancement of Chicano and Native Americans in the Sciences (SACNAS) Annual National Conference featuring career advancement workshops, scientific symposia, exhibits, student presentations and guest speakers designed to provide the resources Chicano/Latino, Native American, and other postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduate science and engineering students need to pursue a advanced degrees in the sciences. A distinguishing feature of the SACNAS conference is that parents and children attend as families. Or link to the SACNAS biography project at http://www.sacnas.com/biography/listssubject.asp
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is easy to access and navigate.
The Equity in Science Education Website has no content.
The publications for sale would make the site more useful if they were available Online as Adobe Reader files.
The POR QUE SE GENERAN BRECHAS ACADEMICAS EN EL AREA DE MATEMATICAS article in Spanish is actually a poor translation from English that does not use Spanish fluidly enough to communicate the essence of the ideas with clarity. The font in the publications list for the Spanish translation of the booklet Getting at the Roots of the Achievement Gap: Creating Healing Communities to Eliminate Racism is not legible.
Other Issues and Comments:
NCEE is a very important initiative that should be expanded to encourage achievement of educational equity at all levels and especially in math and science.