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About Equity

The following image is a wonderful illustration of the differences between equity and equality. Take a look at the images below and consider the following questions:

  1. Look at the image on the left. Does the man on the left need the box?
  2. Look at the image on the right. One of the boys in the image is using two boxes, while the man has none. Is this fair?
  3. Who in the picture has the most barriers? Who has the least?
  4. What other barriers might people face in real life?
  5. Using the words equity and equality, which would you use to label each picture?

Image source: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/625404/equity-vs-equality-what-is-the-difference


Principles of equity and inclusive education set the foundation upon which we develop a positive school climate. We honour the unique experiences, cultures, viewpoints, and talents that make up each one of our students and staff members. Our strength lies in the diversity of these traits. To this end, we strive to remove barriers so that every student has the opportunity to succeed personally and academically in a positive climate that respects and nurtures students of all backgrounds, identities and personal circumstances.

Inclusive education is supported by Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan by encouraging practices based in culturally responsive pedagogy: “Culturally responsive pedagogy recognizes that all students learn in ways that are connected to background, language, family structure, and social or cultural identity. It goes beyond recognizing uniqueness to intentionally nurturing it in order to create and facilitate effective conditions for learning.” (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2017, p. 17).

In order to be inclusive, it is important to acknowledge all of the ways in which we are unique. A few examples include first language, socio-economic status, skin colour, interest, ability, age, body type, learning style, faith, family composition, sexual orientation, and country of origin. As educators, we consider these questions:

  • In what ways are my students unique?
  • How can I build upon students’ prior knowledge, interests, strengths and learning styles?
  • How can I use a variety of teaching resources (e.g., books, posters, websites) and strategies (e.g., inquiry, discussion, independent work) to reflect the uniqueness of my students?
  • How can I encourage students sharing their backgrounds, experiences and perspectives?
  • How can I respectfully foster inclusion using the multicultural calendar - https://www.multiculturalcalendar.com/ecal/index.php?s=dsbn?

For more about Equity in DSBN, go to https://www.dsbn.org/equity