Equity means being just or fair in action. In the teaching fraternity, equity is the aspect of assuring the students get the required information commensurate to their achievements in a subject. Teaching in an equitable manner is not only about giving out information and tests, but also focusing on the desired achievements, as well as individualized care to make sure the student understands the material. Equity is different from equality as it does not only focus on the sameness of information and the teacher’s quality, but adds individualization to equality. This means that the teacher should cater for each student’s needs in class. This paper looks at the equitable methods mathematics teachers could use to help make the teaching of this subject just and fair in the multicultural and ever-changing school environment.
There are various ways to make a mathematics class equitable through the conduct of teachers, community, and students. As teachers focus on how to improve their teaching skills, they need to understand what is required to improve the delivery of information to the students. They should learn how to enhance equity through enrolling in teaching workshops for math educators. That ensures that the teachers are exposed to the latest techniques and tools for effective teaching of mathematics. They could also join organizations such as National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NTCM), which could provide the necessary resources to help math educators boost their teaching skills (Schifter, Russel & Bastable, 2009).
Improvement of teaching skills is measured through the achievements of students as compared against the material they are taught. To improve the teachers’ skills and student understanding, there is the need to involve the families, as well as the community as a whole. Better relations between the community and the teachers lead to more collaborative relations, trust, and respect. It results in the philosophy of partnership where responsibility is shared. It will help the mathematics teachers, since the communities will embrace the importance of mathematics and emphasize it to the students making understanding of the subject easier. Mathematics teachers should develop programs that emphasize the importance of mathematics; for example, community math contests held to recognize the best performers (Bresser, Melanese & Sphar, 2009). It helps to promote the subject in the community. Through treating all parents and guardians equally, it is possible to develop trust and respect, which help the teacher during his teaching lessons.
Though the above methods greatly help in enhancing mathematics teaching in an equitable manner, the ultimate method to enhance equity among students is attained through having teachers evaluate their teaching skills, knowledge, and methodology of instruction. It can be done through setting achievable goals, altering the teaching modes that better contribute to student understanding, and finding ways of increasing the capacity for improvements (Bresser, Melanese & Sphar, 2009). In this article, teacher Royden used an all-inclusive method that helped students feel that they were responsible for their own understanding with directives from her. This method proved effective in making students understand mathematics topics clearly and enhanced total participation by all students, including the bright Larke. In addition to this teacher, Carrie Stanley had to work individually with Sarita, who was not quick in understanding the classroom discussions. Through the individualistic approach, she was able to figure out how doubling of factors worked out.
More approaches may be used, including developing critical thinking; where students are tested on their ability to support arguments with evidence. This method enhances the utilization of multiple methods to solve problems and build cohesiveness among students and teachers, as all approaches are evaluated for their perfection. Equity and access ensures that all students, especially the less successful ones, have full, equal access to the core curriculum and instructional resources (Gorard & Smith, 2010). In doing this, teachers strive to build a fertile classroom environment that helps to develop the student’s willingness to speak up and take risks. It also prevents putdowns and stereotyping among students.
1)Teachers should set up the goals they expect students to meet
2)Refresher courses on effective teaching practices with high results yield are necessary.
3)Participate in community programs that enhance community relationship towards the school programs.
4)Develop discussion groups and student participation in the classroom and teach both trust and respect amongst the participants (students and teacher).
5)Teachers should use exams to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching methods they use. Alteration of these methods should be done gradually for better results.
To conclude, equity in teaching mathematics is achieved when teachers implement an inclusive teaching practice in their work. In addition to this, better management of a mathematics class would lead to high achieving students, especially with the inclusion of goodwill from the community. Teachers should develop effective action plans to enhance equity within the classrooms in order to improve achievement in mathematics.