Equity-Inclusive Practices and Equity in Secondary Education


Schools can be pivotal places of change and deep learning, but they can also perpetuate harmful belief systems and marginalize learners if educators don’t take time to regularly reflect on their practice. Based on research completed with Surrey students, learn about how Surrey schools can better meet the needs of a wider-variety of secondary students. 



·      Schools can perpetuate harmful belief systems: what are your beliefs about struggling st's? Successful students? What are these beliefs based on? Aguilar/ladder of inference

·      Our perception impacts how we teach & interact with st’s, just as student perception impacts how they learn. – bidirectional relationships, environment matters


·      Engagement: we look for behavioural clues most often – what do you look for? 

o   These are not reliable indicators of overall engagement or potential success

o   Shift with culture, mental health, stress levels, brain development, ability

o   SD36 student input

o   What can we look for instead? 

·      Affective engagement: do st’s express interest, joy, curiosity? 

·      Cognitive: do st’s spend time thinking about learning? How can you tell?

·      Agentic: do st’s express opinions, ideas, attempt to influence their learning or learning environment? 


·      Barriers to engagement – equity, current & historical contexts, compassion


·      Self-Determination Theory (ABC) – ways to support deeper engagement for a wider variety of students

o   Autonomy: meaningful choice, voice, relevance

o   Belonging: community, connection, bidirectional relationships

o   Competence: developmentally appropriate tasks, opportunities to experience meaningful success

·      UDL: Universal Designs for Learning

·      Aguilar: Centering in curiosity, compassion, connection

o   What do you want students to come away from your teaching with? Content or tools to navigate life with care, compassion and confidence in themselves?

o   Sphere of control


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  • Nicole Curtis