F is for Fair Is Not Always Equal

| March 26, 2014

The teacher gives glasses to the student who is nearsighted and cannot see anything clearly more than a few feet away before the teacher asks two students to read from the opposite side of the room. On the other hand, if the teacher takes off the student’s glasses who is nearsighted in order to make this situation equal for other students, the teacher’s action will make learning easier for the nearsighted student because he or she will have an excuse to cop out or escape from learning. This is how teachers are doing what is fair for students, not what is equal for students.  So fair is not always equal! We understand that every individual should have an equal right to receive education. However, the word “equal” in this statement does not mean “the same”. I believe that appreciating difference is valuable, but as teachers we cannot differentiate equally. It has been the teachers’ responsibilities to support every student to achieve his or her highest potential by providing professional support and adjustments.