The Center for Educational Equity and Intercultural Research (CEEIR), situated within the LaFetra College of Education (LFCE) at the University of La Verne, fosters advocacy for social justice and empowerment through education, research, and collaboration. LFCE recognizes the need to develop educators who can apply research based approaches to their work while maintaining the social consciousness to address inequities in current educational structures. The Center’s ultimate goal is to be a leader in the movement to improve the opportunities to educational attainment for students in urban and rural communities both locally and globally.
What is Equity?
According to the Glossary of Education Reform,
“In education, the term equity refers to the principle of fairness. While it is often used interchangeably with the related principle of equality, equity encompasses a wide variety of educational models, programs, and strategies that may be considered fair, but not necessarily equal. It is has been said that “equity is the process; equality is the outcome,” given that equity—what is fair and just—may not, in the process of educating students, reflect strict equality—what is applied, allocated, or distributed equally.”
The Education Commission of the States furthers this idea:
“A focus on equity takes into consideration the varying personal experiences and social identifiers that impact students’ educational opportunities, including race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, family background and others. To address these inequities, education leaders must first understand that diverse students have diverse needs. States have the power to advance educational equity by targeting resources and crafting policy that challenge the status quo.”
At CEEIR, we are committed to examining equity across K-12 and higher education contexts, with a focus on how educational institutions and actors can cultivate equity through best instructional and curricular practices.
What do we mean by Intercultural Research?
The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) in Ireland defines intercultural education as:
“…education which respects, celebrates and recognises the normality of diversity in all areas of human life. It sensitises the learner to the idea that humans have naturally developed a range of different ways of life, customs and worldviews, and that this breadth of human life enriches us all. It is education, which promotes equality and human rights, challenges unfair discrimination, and promotes the values upon which equality is built” (NCCA, 2005: 3).
We also operate on conceptualizations of culture as described by the Quality Teacher Programme in Australia:
- Cultures are seen as dynamic rather than static;
- Cultures are relative, not absolute; cultures are complex and vary from person to person, from group to group, and over time;
- Cultural identities are multi-layered;
- Cultural identities are often based on assumptions that are ‘invisible’ to us; we can gain insight into our cultural identities through an exploration of our own ways of behaving, thinking, valuing, and acting; and
- Intercultural understanding can be facilitated by exploring one’s own cultural influences, and opening a dialogue about the cultural influences affecting others.