Equity vs. Equality

Objective: To distinguish the difference between equity and equality and build a common understanding of educational equity. 

Watch the screencast:  Equity vs. Equality

Stop and Think

(Key: T – Teachers; SL – School Leaders; DL – District Leaders)

  • What is your current understanding of the word equity? How does it differ from equality? (T, SL, DL) 
  • How do you personally connect to the ideas in this video, what stood out to you the most? (T, SL, DL)
  • What barriers might teachers face in achieving educational equity in the remote/hybrid learning environment? (T, SL)
  • Although challenges/barriers exist and should never be disregarded or ignored, students also bring many individual strengths. How can the diversity of cultures, languages and lived experiences of students work as assets in promoting educational equity in classrooms? (T, SL)
  • What is the value of having one common definition of educational equity within schools and districts, as opposed to differing definitions? (SL, DL)

Engage in an activity about the screencast above with a group of 3-4  or more of your peers, colleagues, and members of your professional learning network, using the collaboration protocols below. 


Complete the Placemat Activity below as a tool to build consensus.

Divide into small groups of 3-4. Decide who will take on each of the following roles in each group. Then, the reader should read the rest of the instructions.

  • Timekeeper (sets a timer for each step)
  • Reader (reads these directions to the group)
  • Recorder (Records final group synthesis in center square) 

Write your responses to the following prompt(s) in your area of the placemat (see below); during this time, no one should discuss yet (3 min.):

  • In order to begin achieving educational equity, teachers must _________. 
  • Create a working definition of the word equity. At this point, definitions can be a work in progress as new insights and understandings are gained.

If you finish early, keep adding thoughts to your area until it’s time for group discussion. 

Placemat Tool

The Placemat is a tool for formulating and organizing group thoughts, ideas and responses to questions. It can be structured in different ways depending on the number of group members and the physical arrangement of the group. 

Each member should share his/her ideas. As a small group, in the center circle/square, synthesize your individual contributions into a group summary or consensus for the purposes of sharing (5 min.).

Come together as a whole group and give highlights from each discussion by sharing the group consensus in the center square/circle from the small group discussion (5 min.).