Equity in Education Requires a Change in Mindset

We cannot work toward providing each and every child the opportunity to excel, if we ourselves cling to a sense of hierarchy. When we continue to view people in terms of ranks or even levels of importance, we are not truly promoting a climate where equity can thrive. Mel Ainscow at the Center for Equity in Education at the University of Manchester noted, "it is clear that there is much that individual schools can do to tackle issues within their organizations, and that such actions are likely to have a profound impact on student experiences, and perhaps have some influence on inequities arising elsewhere." Our own actions teach. How we run our schools teaches students. For this reason, equity can only be achieved if we not only teach it, but also live by it. Brian Butler, the former principal at Mason Crest Elementary School, the school that has won recognition as an outstanding model for a professional learning community, illustrates this change in mindset in the way he acted as principal. When Mason Crest Elementary Schools first opened its doors back in 2012, the first photograph of the principal on a community blog, shows a person greeting parents and students while directing traffic in the school's parking lot.

Above copied from the Annandale Blog

Back in the Philippines, I do not recall any of the principals in the schools I attended doing this kind of work. But Brian is even so much more than just a principal who does not consider some types of work as beneath those of a principal. He likewise does not regard himself as entitled to privileges for being a principal. For instance, one will not find Brian's car parked in that premium spot reserved for the principal. Instead, one normally finds Brian's car parked in a spot that is far from the school's entrance door. Brian believes not only in equity in education, but also equity among school staff, teachers and administrators. This is the mindset required to achieve equity in schools, and it is so evident in the following article recently written by Brian Butler: