Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fair isn't always equal...unless....

A Twitter/Google Docs Book Club is forming for Rick Wormeli's book Fair Isn't Always Equal. I'm curious to join to experience a book club in this format, but honestly I'm a little overwhelmed at this point.

But the book title, Fair Isn't Always Equal got me thinking about that concept. I use that phrase often when clarifying the PRAXIS definitions of "fairness" (B1, by the way). We don't necessarily have to treat all students equally in order to provide a fair educational experience, in fact, its known as differentiation. Yet, when dealing with teachers, I'm sometimes advised its best not to differentiate. To treat all the same is the safe approach for the group, but I don't think it provides the best experience for the adult learner as an individual. But its safe. To recognize a teacher for excelling, to recruit another for a presentation, these things sometimes ruffle feathers.
So as teachers, do we believe
fair isn't always equal
fair isn't always equal, unless you are dealing with teachers, then equal is the only way to be fair.

It was a rough day.