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A Pathway to Equity: Resources for Teachers and Coaches

By Alina O'Donnell
 | Jan 18, 2018

ILA WestOne of the major takeaways from ILA’s 2018 What’s Hot in Literacy Report is that equity in literacy education is a critical global issue, which we will be tackling at ILA West 2018 in March. As we examine inequity across the United States and around the world, we see that variables such as socioeconomic status, culture, geography, and disability all affect students’ access to quality literacy development. Survey respondents, mostly classroom teachers, expressed frustration that they do not have the supports needed to overcome these disparities and to level the playing field.

Luckily, sites such as Teaching Tolerance, Edutopia, and Teaching for Change are treasure troves of free resources for advancing equity in the classroom. Below is a list of some of the most helpful tools we’ve encountered.

  1. The International Literacy Association’s last #ILAchat of 2017, produced jointly with Teaching Tolerance, focused on equity and the inclusive classroom. Participating educators discussed why and how educators can analyze their curriculum, their classrooms, and themselves to reduce bias practices and build inclusive learning spaces. The powerful conversation is archived on Storify
  2. Teaching Tolerance’s piece, “Two Heads Are Better Than One,” discusses how mentors and coaches are uniquely positioned to serve as antibias allies.
  3. Brown University’s website, Teaching Diverse Learners, shares publications, educational materials, and research that promotes high achievement for English language learners.
  4. Teaching for Change equips teachers and parents with the tools to transform schools into “centers of justice.”
  5. Elena Aguilar, author of The Art of Coaching, published a five-part series on How to Coach for Equity in Schools via Education Week.
  6. Teaching Tolerance’s compilation of classroom resources for antibias education includes teaching strategies, lesson plans, perspective texts, student tasks, and more.  
  7. TeacherVision’s “Strategies for Teaching Culturally Diverse Students” provides guidelines for considering students' cultures and language skills when developing learning objectives and instructional activities, monitoring academic progress, and more to help improve outcomes for a culturally diverse student body.
  8. Edutopia houses a wealth of educational equity-related content for closing achievement gaps.

Themed “Literacy: A Pathway to Equity,” the inaugural ILA West 2018 will take place March 16–17 in San Diego, CA. In the strand for teachers and coaches, participants will explore close reading, visible learning for literacy, quality instruction for English learners, vocabulary instruction, and many more topics that can ensure that all students, even our most vulnerable, become literate. Learn more and register here.

Alina O’Donnell is the editor of Literacy Daily.

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