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Equity by Design

Equity by Design
Delivering on the Power and Promise of UDL

February 2021 | 208 pages | Corwin

“Our calling is to drop our egos, commit to removing barri­ers, and treat our learners with the unequivocal respect and dignity they deserve.”

--Mirko Chardin and Katie Novak 

When it comes to the hard work of reconstructing our schools into places where every student has the opportunity to succeed, Mirko Chardin and Katie Novak are absolutely convinced that teachers should serve as our primary architects. And by “teachers” they mean legions of teachers working in close collaboration. After all, it’s teachers who design students’ learning experiences, who build student relationships . . .  who ultimately have the power to change the trajectory of our students’ lives.

Equity by Design is intended to serve as a blueprint for teachers to alter the all-too-predictable outcomes for our historically under-served students. A first of its kind resource, the book makes the critical link between social justice and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) so that we can equip students (and teachers, too) with the will, skill, and collective capacity to enact positive change.

Inside you’ll find:

  • Concrete strategies for designing and delivering a culturally responsive, sustainable, and equitable framework for all students
  • Rich examples, case studies, and implementation spotlights of educators, students (including Parkland survivors), and programs that have embraced a social justice imperative
  • Evidence-based application of best practices for UDL to create more inclusive and equitable classrooms
  • A flexible format to facilitate use with individual teachers, teacher teams, and as the basis for whole-school implementation

“Every student,” Mirko and Katie insist, “deserves the opportunity to be successful regardless of their zip code, the color of their skin, the language they speak, their sexual and/or gender identity, and whether or not they have a disability.” Consider Equity by Design a critical first step forward in providing that all-important opportunity.

Also From Corwin:

  • Hammond/Culturally Responsive Teaching & the Brain: 9781483308012
  • Moore/The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys: 9781506351681
  • France/Reclaiming Professional Learning: 9781544360669
About the Authors
CHAPTER 1 • Universal Design as an Instrument of Change
The Power and Promise of Universal Design for Learning

Connecting UDL and Social Justice

Concrete Examples and Strategies

Implementation Spotlight by Dr. Linda Nathan and Ms. Carmen Torres

Implementation Spotlight by Ian Wilkins

CHAPTER 2 • Laying the Groundwork for Social Justice in Our Classrooms and Learning Communities
Concept Stabilization: Defining Social Justice in Your Context

Concept Calibration: Now That We’ve Defined It, What Does It Look Like?

Implementation Spotlight by Alice Cohen

Identity Development: Who Are We, and What Do We Believe?

Implementation Spotlight by Brian Wright

Implementation Spotlight by Robert Porter

Equity Audit

Take Action and Next Steps

Implementation Spotlight by Michael S. Martin

CHAPTER 3 • Social Justice Through Collaboration and Community
Intentional Learning Communities

Implementation Spotlight by Kari Thierer

Evidence-Based Intentional Learning

Going Beyond Access

Cogen Dialogues

Implementation Spotlight by Pamela Chu-Sheriff

Optimizing Student Voice

CHAPTER 4 • Personalized Learning for Equity
The Design Process

Implementation Spotlight by Angeline UyHam and Khari Milner

Universal Design as Design Thinking

The Power of Student Voice

Implementation Spotlight by Andratesha Fritzgerald

Supporting Executive Function Through UDL

Implementation Spotlight by Amanda Hughes

CHAPTER 5 • Identity, Mirrors, and Funds of Knowledge
Implementation Spotlight by Arthur Lipkin, EdD

Embracing Funds of Knowledge

Funds of Knowledge Activities

Implementation Spotlight by Joni Degner

Facilitating Conversations That Peek Into Mirrors and Windows

Implementation Spotlight by Tammie Reynolds

Exploring Identity and Diversity Through Writing

Implementation Spotlight by Christina Farese

CHAPTER 6 • Cultural Responsiveness and Equity
UDL as a Framework for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning

Sustaining Culture Through Relationships

Implementation Spotlight by Juan Gallardo

Sustaining Culture Through Community

Implementation Spotlight by Kristie Jackson

Implementation Spotlight by Angel Tucker

Implementation Spotlight by Samantha Feinberg

Culturally Responsive Curriculum Design

Implementation Spotlight by Lissette Castillo Agyeman

How to Navigate Holidays in an Equitable Way

Implementation Spotlight by Mona M. Abo-Zena and Christina Brown

CHAPTER 7 • Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices
Restorative Practice to Uphold High Expectations

Restorative Practice Continuum

Implementation Spotlight by Talisa Sullivan

Restorative Practice in Action

Implementation Spotlight by Adina Davidson and Annie Leavitt

Implementation Spotlight by Dr. Sarah Couplet

CHAPTER 8 • A Student’s Journey
The Early Years

Encounters With Authority

Appendix A
Appendix B: UDL Progression Rubric

"Many teachers and educators are struggling with the concept that 'teaching is a political act.' Many want to know, “'s that my responsibility to teach about social issues that are often controversial?' Equity by Design will allow educators to be reflective and introspective. It is a practical, realistic and useful guide and workbook."

Paul Forbes
NYC Department of Education

"Social justice should be the pursuit of every school, institution, organization and individual. The authors have demonstrated how UDL (Universal Design for Learning) can be the technique by which social justice is achievable. Their text makes clear that simply having a social justice lens or desire is insufficient; action is what is needed. From culturally responsive teaching, to restorative justice, to the design process, to navigating holidays, Novak and Chardin provide clear rationales, practical strategies, explicit examples, and next step actions for every educator interested in a just society."

Wendy Murawski
California State University Northridge

“Equity by Design is critically relevant for educators of today’s youth, the leaders of our future global society, to understand how our work influences their place in the world.

Lisa Graham
Douglas County School District

"This book offers a powerful and concrete pathway for educators to incorporate social justice in curriculum development, teaching strategies and practices. Readers meet an array of educators who put these ideas into practice and learn many ideas for creating an equitable and inclusive school."

Becki Cohn-Vargas
Educator and Author

"Equity by Design will promote usefulness for teachers and students through its research based foundation and practical applications. It is thought provoking!"

Melanie Sitzer Hedges
West Gate Elementary School

"Equity by Design is a must-read for anyone engaged in educating young people.  It does a phenomenal job of identifying the barriers that many students face, as well as how educators can help students overcome these barriers."


Melissa Miller
Randall G. Lynch Middle School

"Now, more than ever, equitable education is of the utmost importance. Equity by Design is a great tool for getting those hard conversations started.

Kelsey Pretzer
East Kentwood High School

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ISBN: 9781544380247