Re: letter to the edequity list

Fri, 3 Oct 1997 15:17:05 -0600

Donna Woodka wrote:

> I don't see "social justice" as much of an improvement, frankly. This
> implies things as they are now are unjust, and many people simply don't
> want to believe that is true.

This is the real problem I run into. Among members of the "majority
population", whether males or females, forms of racial and gender
discrimination are seen as problems of the past, and cultural
discrimination is rarely recognized. People, including teachers,
will not consider solutions if they view them as unnecessary and/or

I use a variety of terms to describe what I recommend, including
equity, balance, affirmative action, and progressive, but if the
audience does not believe there is a problem, they will not respond
no matter what terms you use. The word I never use is "equality",
except to contrast it with the others. Even equality of opportunity
requires a wide degree of unequal support mechanisms, and people tend
to have (understandable) difficulties with unequal means leading to
equal ends.

> I think we need to focus on changing
> attitudes in education through providing a wide range of role models,
> encouraging open thinking about societal roles, and encouraging young
> people to see themselves and others as individuals, rather than
> pre-judging themselves or anyone else simply as part of a group.

These are important goals. The one equity solution which does seem to
receive wide approval, even among those who refuse to recognize that
there are problems, is the emphasis on individual variation and the
freedom to be different.

-- Bob

Robert Tighe Resource Teacher
Instructional Technology
Albuquerque Public Schools Never doubt that a small group of
220 Monroe SW thoughtful, committed citizens can
Albuquerque, NM 87108-2811 change the world; indeed it's the
505-256-4266 only thing that ever has.
-- Margaret Mead

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