Re: More equity strategies

Janice Wallace (
Wed, 13 May 1998 09:43:42 -0400 (EDT)

Hi Jen,

We are just in the last stages at our faculty of ed putting together two
videos and accompanying manuals which address this very question. In
fact, each one's title begins with the words Taking Action:...
The first deals with changing gendered practices in school contexts. We
taped a focus group of Masters students who had taken a course on gender
in schools and also had a personal commitment to change and then explored
the questions raised in their experience of "taking action." I think we
managed to avoid the "you should do this and not that" trap and, instead,
explored the complexity of the issues raised for teachers and
administrators. The second video deals with how gender and power work in the
practicum between students, student teachers and associate teachers.
Both videos and manuals are part of a larger project with
our faculty and two other universities called "Educating the Educators."
The project is funded by the Ontario Women's
Directorate and the Ontario Association of Deans of Education and
each project's materials will be available in French and English through
the OWD in late June I believe.

One of the issues that became clear is that changemakers do not have
enough opportunities to share their questions and ideas with others who
also want to make change in their school environment. That is, if we
actually did have the opportunity to sit down and talk to one another, as
you suggest below, effecting change around issues of gender, race, class,
sexual orientation, and so on would be less of an affective burden and
would be better informed by other's experiences. That's why lists like
this one, and local networks are so important to me in doing what is
sometimes rather lonely work.

Janice Wallace
Faculty of Education
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, Canada

On 11 May 1998 wrote:

> In a message dated 5/5/98 6:45:18 AM, I wrote:
> <<>From: JenPiazza <>
> >
> >I have a question I have been thinking about and wanted to get opinions from
> >the rest of you. If you could sit down and talk to elementary, secondary
> and
> >post-secondary teachers about thier curriculum, instruction, and assessment
> >decisions as they relate to gender equity, what would you say to them?>>
> I thank everyone for all of the wonderful responses to my question. I have
> been off the computer for a few days and am just reading some of them.
> However, when I posed this question, it was not because I wanted to know
> myself what to say to these teachers (although that has been a wonderful
> plus), but I noticed that on this listserv there is much talk about what
> teachers need to do, change, etc. to promote equity. So I posed the above
> question. I am sorry for the misunderstanding, however, the responses have
> been wonderful! I have noticed that many of the responses several of the
> respondents have suggested aim to take the teachers to a point of awareness.
> In my work with preservice and inservice teachers, they can "get to" the
> point
> of awareness and then to the belief, "All people are equal, therefore I am
> equitable." Sadly their practice (nor mine for that matter) does not take
> that next step into action. How might we move teachers to act
> differently/more equitably going beyond awareness?
> Jenny Piazza
> ------------------

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