College of the Canyon: Equity In Education Webinar

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00:00:00 In this section, two panelists, Professor Julie Johnson, and Professor Robert Wanzer, define equity in education. They emphasize that equity goes beyond equality and should focus on knowing students and their needs to distribute resources and scaffold information to meet their requirements. They also stress that people should have similar chances to be successful, and gaps among different groups on campus can highlight inequitable situations. Therefore, they suggest that institutions measure outcomes and identify areas that need improvement to ensure equitable education.

00:05:00 In this video section, the speakers discuss the importance of understanding that structural inequities exist in educational institutions, which has traditionally been overlooked in a deficit mindset that places blame on the students. As “Equity Detectives,” faculty and staff have a role in understanding equity from multiple aspects, including funding, academic support, and resources. There must be interlocking overarching frameworks that recognize the vital role all college employees play in ensuring equity for students. Culturally Responsive Teaching is one such program that can improve pedagogy and allow for more intentional outreach to students who may require more support to succeed. The speakers acknowledge that every student is different, and their need for assistance varies in a manner comparable to siblings in a family. Therefore, it is essential to recognize and approach each student’s individual needs to ensure a fair outcome for all.

00:10:00 In this section, two educators from College of the Canyons discuss the importance of equity in education and how it requires a tailored approach to fit individual student needs. They bring up the idea of funding and data analysis as key tools to create equitable environments. One professor even speaks to how he modified his approach to grading based on a non-traditional student’s needs. This conversation shows how important it is for educators to be mindful of diversity and provide customized support to help close gaps and ensure access to education for all students.

00:15:00 In this section, the conversation centers around the difference between equity and equality and the challenges associated with implementing equity practices while protecting equity-minded practitioners. The speakers argued that while equality involves dividing resources into matching amounts, equity is about providing resources based on an individual’s unique needs. To implement equity-mindedness, educators need resources and support to adapt their standards for different student populations while maintaining their quality of education. However, some students perceive implementing equity practices as unequal and unfair, highlighting the need for increased discussions surrounding equity’s benefits and its practical implementation.

00:20:00 In this section, the speakers discuss the difference between equity and equality in education. The conversation focuses on the importance of teaching students to advocate for themselves and recognizing the diverse backgrounds and experiences that students bring to the classroom. They argue that an equitable approach to grading is necessary to acknowledge the effort and progress of each student individually rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach based on the idea of equality. They also critique the Western capitalist notion of equality as a zero-sum game, which doesn’t serve the purpose of learning.

00:25:00 In this section, the speaker emphasizes the importance of providing equal opportunities for all students, regardless of their background. They reject the idea of limiting a student’s opportunity to learn, and instead offer extenuating circumstances for any student who needs it. The speaker also highlights the concept of an “oops token,” where any student who encounters an issue can receive an extension without having to prove their neediness. The speaker believes that creating a safe space for students to fail and providing support for their success are key in promoting equity in education. However, the issue of some students taking advantage of this kindness is addressed, and the need to differentiate between genuine need and manipulation is highlighted.

00:30:00 In this section, the speakers discuss the use of “oops tokens” and the importance of creating a safe and empathetic learning environment to promote equity in education. While the tokens can provide some flexibility for students who may be dealing with outside circumstances, the instructors emphasize the need to approach the conversation with empathy rather than policing. They believe that accountability can still exist without sacrificing a safe space for students to fail and learn from their mistakes. The speakers also highlight the role of community support in helping students successfully navigate through college.

00:35:00 n this section, the speakers discuss the importance of creating a safe environment for students to fail. They emphasize the need to be open about their own struggles as educators to show students that failure is a part of the learning process. Sharing their stories of how they overcame their own obstacles to success can provide inspiration and guidance to students who may be struggling. Additionally, the panelists mention the importance of good course design, incorporating low-stakes assessments and a mix of formative and summative assessments to provide students with ample opportunities to practice and improve their skills. By implementing these strategies, educators can create a supportive learning environment that fosters growth and development among all students.

00:40:00 In this section, the speaker recounts her experience in college, specifically in a history class where the professor had designed the course in such a way that the only way to get a passing grade was to drop out before the drop deadline. This experience changed the way she approaches course design and assessment in her own teaching, focusing on low-stakes assessments, immediate feedback, and opportunities for practice before assigning substantial grades. She also emphasizes the importance of focusing on doing things well, rather than just getting the right answer, and of creating a learning environment where students can find a right answer through their knowledge and understanding. The speaker acknowledges that this approach may not be suitable for all disciplines, but emphasizes the importance of creating accessible and equitable learning opportunities for all students.

00:45:00 In this section, the video discusses how teachers should focus on the learning process instead of getting the right answer in low stakes. They should help students think and play around with concepts to help them connect what they already understand, especially for science and math. Equity training for teachers is also crucial as it can bridge different silos or content areas to ensure diverse ways of assessment and teaching. The Skill Teacher Certificate offered by Seattle College is an excellent resource for educators who want to improve their pedagogy and teaching practices. Such programs are essential in supporting conversations about equity among educational professionals, as Robert and Julie, the co-coordinators of Seattle, have experienced themselves.

00:50:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the concept of Universal Design for Learning and how it is embedded in course design for all students. The speaker emphasizes the importance of collaboration between different parts of the campus and the ongoing work of the IE quantity squared and Equity minor practitioners work group to promote equity in education. The speaker also highlights the need to view equity as central to the mission statement of the college and not as a binary issue with quality. Ultimately, the focus is on helping all students graduate and thrive, and the community college’s role in providing necessary services like food and winter clothing to support them.

00:55:00 In this section of the transcript, the speakers discuss the importance of separating equality and equity in education to focus solely on creating an equitable space for students to learn. They acknowledge the challenges in achieving this goal, which has been historically weaponized against communities of color. However, they emphasize the power of education and advocate for taking a comprehensive approach to meet the needs of the whole student. The speakers also suggest leveraging existing efforts and expanding the mission of community colleges in California to promote high-quality education for all students. They recognize the need for further discussion on this topic and the role of individualism and meritocracy in the conversation.

01:00:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the importance of making higher education accessible to everyone and states that it should not only be for those who can afford it. They acknowledge that there is a difference in economic structure, but believe that everyone should have the opportunity to attend college. The speaker expresses their gratitude to those who participated and notes that more discussions on this topic will be held in the future. They believe that talking about this issue is the first step in creating change and encourages others to reach out with ideas for future discussions.

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