New View EDU
New View EDU
Nov 15, 2022
Roundtable 3
Play • 48 min

Episode 30: How Equity and Wellbeing Work Together in Our Schools

Schools exist to help prepare students for the future. But in a society that prides itself on equality, how can we create equitable schools that prepare students to enter a world where inclusion is crucial? And how does focusing on the wellbeing of our school communities go hand-in-hand with building inclusive environments? In this episode of New View EDU, two school heads with deep expertise in DEI work join host Tim Fish and special co-host Caroline Blackwell for a conversation about equity, wellbeing, and the future of inclusion efforts in independent schools.

Guests: Kalyan Balaven and Dr. Jessie Barrie

Resources, Transcript, and Expanded Show Notes

In This Episode:

  • “We compete in speech and debate, we compete in sports. We can compete in all these different ways, but we can't compete in inclusion cuz when we compete in inclusion, that's exclusion by nature.” (6:29)

  • “I think the nature of this work is so foundational to everything we're trying to accomplish, whether it's, you know, student academic outcomes, whether it's, you know, student social-emotional health and wellness throughout the day. That the only way to really effectively do equity work is to ensure that it's embedded in the foundational documents, philosophies, values of your school, and in every element of how you lens everything, from assessment to book selections, to hiring practices, to evaluation practices.” (8:41)

  • “Oftentimes you'll find students at schools. You actually find them on the brochure. You'll find 'em on the website, because they represent some sort of visible diversity. And if you really interview some students…who are visual representations of difference at a school and say, Did you take full advantage of it? Did you, did you participate in that outdoor ed program? Did you go on that international trip? Did you go on the college visits and the college tours? And the answers that we get back are not the answers we wanna see. That's not inclusion. Inclusion is all those students thriving and finding a way for themselves, to see themselves in the mission of the school as achieving those things that are the promise of the school in relationship to the world they're entering.” (16:15)

  • “The first definition of discriminate is to differentiate, to distinguish, to discern, to see difference between each other. Seeing difference is not a bad thing, inherently. The bad thing is when a school, and I imagine, imagine the school has a view of all the students, and in the view shared of all the students, certain students are getting lost.” (22:16)

  • “We can only learn by opening our hearts and opening our ears to the experience of others and to the realization that we never will truly be able to understand the experience of others. All we can do is have the gift of someone's trust to share with us their experience, and to be able to try and listen really intently to that experience and look for the opportunities within our own biases, within our own defensive reactions for growth.” (39:53)

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