Making Equity a First Principle of Personalized Learning

By Julia Freeland Fisher
May 10, 2017

This article by Julia Freeland Fisher, the Director of Education Research at the Clayton Christensen Institute, discusses the importance of working to achieve more equity in education. She asserts that it is not enough to create new personalized and engaging learning opportunities for kids and assume that equity will magically be achieved. Instead, to ensure the unequal systems that currently exist are not replicated, difficult work must be done.

She introduces the EquityXDesign process which can help organizations, teams, and individuals mitigate the impact of racism while redesigning learning environments. EquityXDesign is an effort to update the design thinking process, sometimes called human or user-centered design, using an equity lens. This article, written by the developers, provides more detail. In short, EquityXDesign is a set of beliefs, tools, and activities that can be used in conjunction with traditional design thinking methodology to uncover the implicit biases which shape individual actions and reinforce structural inequalities in institutions. The resulting conversations can influence how teams understand the user for which they are designing, frame problems, and propose and test solutions.

The complexity of these articles mimics the complexity of the issues that must be addressed to achieve more equitable education outcomes. The issues raised could be used to kick-start conversations and guide the approach of any team taking on design or redesign work. However, it is important to note that the second article does not include the full details to implement all the described team activities.

Source Organization: The Equity Design Collaborative

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