Equity-oriented pedagogy

Developing educational opportunities that are inclusive requires thinking not only about equality in opportunities to access education but also about equity, whereby each student can achieve similar positive outcomes, regardless of their background and characteristics such as gender, disability or ethnicity. Finding fairer ways to improve learning for all requires consideration of barriers at many levels, from personal to cultural and societal. Strategies in equity-oriented pedagogy include listening to students and adapting teaching, recognising uneven effects of use of educational technology, awareness of how assessment practices can be unfair and drawing upon pedagogical frameworks such as Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL seeks to accommodate individual learning differences and provides principles of curriculum design that focus on offering students multiple means of engagement, representation (e.g. alternative formats), and expression or action. New technology and increased online and hybrid learning provide opportunities for increasing personalisation and co-creation of learning, although possible inequitable effects of technology must be considered. Where the focus is on developing individualised support for learners, this should not reduce the social benefits of learning together or unintentionally create new barriers. By putting a focus on fairness, rather than on whether access is possible, equity-oriented pedagogies can offer a more holistic approach when considering inclusion.

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