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Serving Educational Equity - Book Cover

Serving Educational Equity

A Five-Course Framework for Accelerated Learning
By: Sonya Murray-Darden, Gwendolyn Y. Turner

Foreword by Barbara R. Blackburn

Grounded in research and employing the Science of Learning Development (SoLD) principles, this book offers bold and different thinking about unfinished learning, equity, and student success.

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Serving Educational Equity - Book Cover
Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781071909478
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2023
  • Page Count: 216
  • Publication date: May 22, 2023

Price: $34.95

Price: $34.95
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Connect theory to practice with this timely, comprehensive whole-child approach to accelerated learning.

Planning for equitable accelerated learning is analogous to preparing a meal. Similar to a chef selecting the menu, gathering ingredients, and planning the occasion, educators choose aligned curricula to prioritize learning, organize and internalize instruction, and plan for opportunities to advance student learning.

Grounded in research and employing the Science of Learning Development (SoLD) principles, this book offers bold new thinking about unfinished learning, equity, and student success. The five-course framework guides educators through the process of

  • Assessing the current school conditions and mindset for acceleration versus remediation
  • Reflecting on empowerment
  • Surveying and reimagining curriculum
  • Understanding and embracing diversity and equity
  • Establishing and implementing effective foundational instruction
  • Promoting, expanding, and reflecting on student engagement

Including frequent opportunities for reader reflection, real-world vignettes, and tools that can be brought directly into the classroom, this book delivers everything educators need to adopt a whole-child approach to advancing student learning and engagement.



Sonya Murray-Darden photo

Sonya Murray-Darden

My "why" has evolved throughout my experience serving students in numerous educational settings as a professional developer, classroom teacher, leadership coach, reading specialist, administrator, and researcher. But no experience entirely shaped my why, like losing my former student who was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri. His death would spark public protests, social unrest, and outrage within my community and beyond, forcing much-needed conversations across the country about the role of social justice in schools.

Mike was a gentle soul who loved math and was part of my reading club. There was much in the news media about his tragedy, but what I knew as his former teacher was that he loved math even after graduating from high school. I wanted to think the teaching and learning he received, and the information I poured into him as a student, influenced his love of mathematics. Ironically, his tragedy occurred the same day I graduated from college with an advanced degree, causing me to reflect deeply on the external and internal influences of teaching and learning and my personal "why." As I pondered the many sacrifices of my parents and teachers, I concluded that the work of equity is about using education as a vessel to change lives. The educators I encountered influenced my life trajectory and educational experiences. My path began as a student in an urban school district with teachers who cared and provided the foundational learning I needed to succeed, but I didn't live in an area where schools were "considered" the best. My mother decided to transition my siblings and me to a desegregated school by eighth grade, riding a school bus for nearly an hour each way to a new school community. This community was very different from where I was raised and was considered "a better educational opportunity."

As I traveled across town to a school that offered more opportunity and access, the program offerings were better, but I felt isolated. I was invisible. The experience helped me understand the difference between "intent" and "impact." The school was challenging and rich in experiences, intending to diversify educational experiences for all students by offering more opportunities, yet the impact was a stifled voice. I quickly learned that serving equity requires elevating the voice of the underserved, choosing the right curriculum, understanding the impact of external influences, building relationships, and reflecting on the instructional decisions we implement when we elevate students' possibilities.

Ultimately, I founded Equity Matters Consulting, a consulting company focused on helping educators advance education by giving students a voice and a seat at the table. Our team focuses on adult learning theory to disrupt the status quo in schools and organizations using a practical, inspirational approach. I began testing parts of the serving educational equity framework with practitioners over the past few years. I assembled strategies from our recent day-to-day consulting experiences with schools and organizations to offer as best practices in this book.

Educational equity shines a spotlight on our expectations and asks us to reflect on how we hinder or elevate opportunities for students to have a better life. We should center a vision of excellence for every child, no matter their zip code, background, or linguistic ability. Our book supports practitioners with resources to operationalize educational equity using actionable practices that ensure educational equity for all students.

Gwendolyn Y. Turner photo

Gwendolyn Y. Turner

As an educator who has worked in numerous educational settings: classroom teacher, substitute teacher, reading specialist, adult educator, administrator, educational consultant, teacher educator, college professor, and researcher, I have learned to respect both the teaching and learning process. One can expect culturally, linguistically, and academically diverse students in any educational setting. My career as an educator started in a rural area and later with migrant populations, in which very few opportunities for economic advancement were available for families. These families taught me the importance of resiliency and the timeliness of quality, relevant educational experiences that allowed students to acquire tools such as problem-solving, reasoning, and critical thinking. Tools that could be used in both academic and general life settings. We did not have time to waste on meaningless or irrelevant learning activities because a quality educational experience would be a ticket to greater life opportunities. When I started working with educators and visiting classrooms in Bolivia and Brazil, I realized that quality education does not just prepare students to complete school assignments but prepares them for all of their life experiences as adults, parents, employees, and citizens. In America, we take education for granted, but my experiences in schools and classrooms in South Africa and Thailand reinforced my belief that education changes lives. We serve students best when we honor their voices, acknowledge their identities, and value their life experiences. Students who receive a quality education have many more life opportunities than those who receive an inferior education. Too often we provide the best educational resources, activities, and experiences for those students who are already advantaged. Equity is a lens that educators can use to ensure all students reach their full potential. I believe in respecting the teaching and learning process. I believe that a quality education improves the quality of one’s life. Lastly, I believe that as an educator, I can help students improve their life trajectory.
As I worked in suburban and urban educational settings, I realized that students enter a classroom expecting to learn, to be engaged, and to have their opinions matter and their voices heard. My beliefs, practices, and actions can profoundly impact the learning success of students regardless of their academic abilities, cultural background, or linguistic ability. We are not helping students complete assignments for class; we are assisting students in the tools they need for success in their lives. This is why I have embraced educational equity throughout my career. I believe that educational equity provides opportunities for all students to soar academically.
Our work as educators is to help students acquire the tools they need for both careers and life. Therefore, it is imperative that we provide instruction that meets students’ academic and social needs. Respecting the rights of students to experience rich, meaningful learning experiences has been the cornerstone of my work as an educator. This is a lesson that I have embraced in my work in this country and as a visiting instructor in Bolivia, Brazil, Thailand, and South Africa. I believe that students want to learn and experience success while learning. All students deserve intellectually challenging, relevant, and engaging learning activities in a supportive environment. Education is still the key that unlocks opportunities for students now and in their futures.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6



Price: $34.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.

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