Chapter 1: Reflective Web Activities (RWA)

RWA1.1: Differences between equity and equality

In the area of special educational, additional learning or support needs it is really important to understand how the principle of equity relates to legislation. You will find a very useful set of comparators between concepts of equity and equality entitled ‘Equity Vs Equality: 20 differences between Equity and Equality!’ (Adhikari, 2017) that is available here. Please access this material now and read through the statements.

To what extent do you agree with the following statements:

‘Equity cannot be achieved through equality. Equality can be achieved through equity’?

What issues do you consider will arise where:
- individual learners are assessed for what we might see as negative difference in order to establish the need for additional or special resources
- extra provision is made for some learners, but not for other
- provision for extra or additional learning or support can be costly?

In addition, the Open University has uploaded a very useful discussion of equity and equality in education contexts and the differences between them, and has included some reflective activities that you might like to try out on its Openlearn web page.

RWA1.2: Significance of Plowden

The full text of what is now commonly known as the Plowden Report, Central Advisory Council for Education (1967) Children and their Primary Schools ('The ‘Plowden Report'), London: HMSO, with notes accompanying the text, is available here. This report is really significant in the context of the history of primary education in England. You will find discussion of the importance, and a critique, of this document, Gillard, D. 'The Plowden Report', the encyclopaedia of informal education, here.

RWA1.3: ‘Stickiness’of labels. Assumptions of eugenics

Down’s (1866) paper Observations on an Ethnic Classification of Idiots,London Hospital Reports, 3:259-262, is reprinted here. You might be interested in reading this paper to reflect on the way in which negative portrayals of differences between people continue to resonate down the years and to judge just how far thinking about differences has evolved in the past 150 years or so.

If you are interested in how such a movement such as eugenics could develop, you might be interested in reading and reflecting on the article available here.

How morally acceptable is it, do you think, to use genetic testing these days to stop the transmission of particular heritable diseases? What might be the dangers in this practice?

RWA1.4: Understanding seminal research on teacher expectations

The full text of the journal article Rosenthal, R. & Jacobson, L. (1968) ‘Pygmalion in the classroom is available here. Given that so much research has been carried out following the publication of this seminal study, you might like to read it for yourself and reflect on what you think about it.