Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 53 seconds

When the Class Clicks on Equity #unboundeq

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 53 seconds

I think that, more than anything, doing Equity Unbound while teaching my course this semester helped me stay “in the zone” for the course. There has not been as much interaction with folks outside my institution as I wanted.. but I think I’m more focused and organized and mindful in my classes. Well, most days.

One day that worked really beautifully was one that happened a few weeks ago and I have not had time to blog about it. I did a particular combination of activities that made that class session really impactful … and in confidential mid-semester assessments, and in non-confidential feedback, students mentioned that day as being meaningful. So I thought I’d share.

It was during the equity theme, right after the empathy/bias theme, and I did the following

  1. Modified Privilege Walk (description forthcoming)
  2. Discuss equity vs equality image
  3. Watch Class Divided and discuss

Honestly, each of these activities alone is really powerful. Together, they really made a difference.

Modified Privilege Walk

This is my personal hack on a well-known activity. In the known activity, a facilitator reads out statements and participants, using their own identity, step forward or backwards depending on the question. That’s the general idea, and visually, you see who moves forward (privileged) vs backwards (not).

However, I do it quite differently.

  1. Students in small groups identify a spectrum of different identities that have power or less power in Egyptian society. I give them male/female (I should include trans in future). They come up with others like religion (Muslim, Christian, Bahai, Jewish, atheist), things like social class, sexuality, dis/ability, etc. I collect these on separate cards and distribute them randomly among students in step 4
  2. Students in the same small groups write out statements of what a person with or without privilege in Egypt “has” (e.g. a car, health insurance)
  3. Students in the same small groups write out statements of what a person with or without privilege in Egypt is likely to do (e.g. marry a person by choice; accept a bribe; use drugs)
  4. Distribute identity cards so each person has around 3 different dimensions to their identity. Sometimes for gender, we just switch genders from their real gender to save paper 🙂 But anyway. So each person will take on a “role” of e.g. Muslim, poor, homosexual… or female, blind, refugee
  5. We go outside class and stand in a straight line. When I read out a positive statement (from steps 2 & 3) those who would say yes step forward, others step back (e.g. do you have a car? those who are likely to have one step forward, others step back; are you likely to accept bribes, those who say yes step BACK and those who would say no step forwards, and so on)
  6. We look at each other in the end and reveal the different identities. Some people go soooo far back they can no longer hear… some go so far forward they’re hitting a wall..
  7. We go back into class and discuss intersectionality and what privilege means in different contexts

Equity vs. Equality

I was worried this one would get lost with Flickr’s move to limiting number of images for free accounts to 1,000… but it’s still there. Whew.

equity vs equality. People of different heights trying to reach apples on a tree; compare giving all people support of same height versus differentiating support for each one so all can reach.
"Equity vs Equality" flickr photo by MN Pollution Control Agency  shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

“Equity vs Equality” flickr photo by MN Pollution Control Agency  shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

Class Divided

We watch this powerful excerpt from the Class Divided video and discuss it

One thought on “When the Class Clicks on Equity #unboundeq

  1. Pingback: Parisa Mehran

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