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Promoting 'relational equity' and high mathematics achievements through an innovative mixed ability approach
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 07:32 authored by Jo Boaler
Equity is a concept that is often measured in terms of test scores, with educators looking for equal test scores among students of different cultural groups, social classes or sexes. In this article the term ‘relational equity’ is proposed to describe equitable relations in classrooms; relations that include students treating each other with respect and responsibility. This concept will be illustrated through the results of a four-year study of different mathematics teaching approaches, conducted in three Californian high schools. In one of the schools—a diverse, urban high school—students achieved at higher levels, learned good behaviour, and learned to respect students from different cultural groups, social classes, ability levels and sexes. In addition, differences in attainment between different cultural groups were eliminated in some cases and reduced in all others. Importantly, the goals of high achievement and equity were achieved in tandem through a mixed-ability mathematics approach that is not used or well known in the UK.
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Department affiliated with
- Education Publications
NotesThis paper is already proving very influential. The findings were reported in national papers and on Radio 4 in October 2007. Boaler has also been invited to meet with the Prime Minister's senior policy advisor, Nick Pearce, to discuss the results reported in the paper and the implications for English schools. It will be published in British Educational Research Journal in early 2008 but is already available on the web.
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