The philosophical foundation of the public schooling system is the principle of equality. Equality is the belief that everyone deserves an equal chance to succeed, that everyone is capable of achieving success during the schooling period of their life. Every system in a Professional Learning Community is built upon this idea. “When a schools forms a PLC, educators within the institutions embrace high levels of learning for all students as both the reason the school exists and the fundamental responsibility of those who work within it ” (DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, & Many, 2010, p. 11). This concept is in our everyday life making us feel like we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. Unfortunately what is true concept is not always true in reality. The fact is that we love the concept of equality in theory, but our collective behaviour as a society we paint a different picture in reality.
The truth is that schools are more racially and socioeconomically segregated today than at any time in our history. In fact, the symbol of success in 2015 is to live in socioeconomically and culturally reflective segregated suburbs and to send our kids to a school that reflects that same racial and socioeconomic stratification (Goyette & Lareau, 2014). The racial and economic gap continues to grow, even as we have declared that this is an era of “No Child Left Behind.” Today’s political climate in both the Liberal and Labour parties is heavily weighted in the favour of the middle class and the working family, while very little attention is paid to the needs of the poor.
Equality is a wonderful concept, but it is under a steady and nimble attack in the modern society. Schools present us the best chance to restore the hope of equality. Teachers are positioned in a way to create systems and implement their learning environments to bring out the best in every student and create a world class and recognised system with a belief that all men/women are equal. If equality is important to you, answer the following questions and really try to think and respond as honestly as possible:
1. Does it affect you when a student does not excel in their studies?
2. Do the students who struggle fit a certain definition?
3. Can you link their struggles in class with their personal and/or family?
The answers to these questions will present to you an insightful perspective into whether equality is a slogan or a core value in your teaching environment. We need to realise that is has to be imperatively a core value in all of our school to truly absorb true learning equality.
DuFour, R., DuFour, R., Eaker, R., & Many, T. (2010). Learning by doing: A handbook for professional learning communities at work™. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
Goyette, K., & Lareau, A. (2014). Choosing homes, choosing schools: Residential segregation and the search for a good school. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.