Jul 25

Fair Is Not Equal

Posted by Valentine Burr in Fair Is Not Equal on Jul 25, 2012

Boy-Writing (Happy) Girl Writing (Frustrated)

Different children may have different learning needs

"Fair doesn't mean that everyone gets the same thing; fair means everyone gets what they need to be successful."

This expression, or some version of it, is an aphorism most teachers will hear at some point in their career. There is an intuitive, "of course" quality to it. Some kids need more visuals to support their reading. Some kids need one-on-one support from their teacher from time-to-time. Some kids may need to sit closer to the board. Some kids need to write using keyboards. In all kinds of ways, big and small, teachers treat students differently to provide them “what they need.” Why? Because what works for one student doesn't necessarily work for another.

While this “makes sense” for kids’ academic needs, it can be a harder principle to apply to behavior. But if some kids have a harder time resolving problems, regulating anger, making friends, or switching gears during the day, then it stands to reason that we would need to treat these needs differently too. Throughout our postings we’ll take up the challenge of exploring how.

Fair is not the same as equal, after all.

tagged behavior, differentiation
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