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How to Build a More Equitable Learning Environment

Written by: The Wiley Network
Published on: Apr 22, 2021

This article is brought to you by The Wiley Network where you can explore resources for Researchers, Educators and Professionals, including support for the Covid-19 crisis.

Equitable Learning Environment
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Title graphic reading, "Introducing Social Emotional Learning"

It was April 5, 1968, the day after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The nation was reeling, and many couldn’t help but wonder what this loss would mean for the future of race relations and civil rights in the United States. Meanwhile, in a rural, nearly all-white town in Iowa, elementary school teacher Jane Elliott made a decision. She’d talked to her students about discrimination, but now she knew it was time to make it real for them.

Although the term social–emotional learning didn’t exist in the 1960s, Jane Elliott’s work is a rich example of how to help students understand the experiences and feelings of others.

Title graphic reading, "Diving Deeper into Social Emotional Learning"

Man with glasses reading a book

Use these tactics to build a more equitable culture in your classrooms, workplaces, homes and beyond.

1. Prioritizing Safe Learning with a Supportive Learning Environment

Create a positive, safe, and supportive environment that will allow people to thrive mentally, emotionally, socially, and academically. Learn how to help people self-identify and self-manage their emotions, develop social awareness, collaborate, and interact positively with others.

2. Teach and Practice Kindness

Learn about the biological roots of kindness, the personal and social benefits it creates, and how to help people be empathetic, honest, and trustworthy.

3. Cultivating Youth Activists and Change Agents in the World

Learn strategies for teaching young people about their relationship with their local and global communities, how they can have an active role in creating change, and projects they can use to raise awareness for a variety of topics, including human rights, environmentalism, and hunger.

Cited from Wiley's Advancement Courses

Graphic with quote by Wiley author Steven Bollar. "When you stand tall you don't think small. As you learn new things in life you have a 'taller' perspective. Stop thinking and acting smaller than what you are."

Title graphic reading, "Required Reading"


Discover these titles from Wiley authors to continue your own learning journey.

Allies and Advocates: Creating an Inclusive and Equitable Culture
By Amber Cabral

Microaggressions and Marginality: Manifestation, Dynamics and Impact
By Derald Wing Sue

Building for Everyone: Expand your Market with Design Practices from Google’s Product Inclusion Team
By Annie-Jean Baptiste

Undercurrents: Channeling Outrage to Spark Practical Activism
By Steve Davis

Title graphic reading, "For Your Feed"

Follow these black thought leaders on their social channels for a daily dose of inspiration.

Tamara Moore, @ifpencilscouldtalk 
Tamara is a fourth-grade teacher and LGBTQ+ advocate. Don’t miss out on her classroom activities and her favorite picture books that she reads to her students. In addition to Instagram, she curates playlists on Spotify.

Esther Odekunle, PhD @science.uncovered
Esther Is a neurobiologist an antibody engineer, who's research focuses on identifying and removing risks from antibodies to improve their developments in medication. On top of this, she uses her platform to promote the visibility of diverse professionals In STEM.

Patrick Harris, @presidentpat  
A true hero in the struggle of transitioning to digital learning, Patrick teaches seventh and eighth grade in Detroit. He also owns a Good Trouble Media, a company that seeks to make equitable schooling and high-quality education an international priority.

Dr. Erin L Thomas, @ErinLThomasPhD
Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at Upwork, Dr. Erin Thomas often uses her Twitter platform to share valuable DEI best practices and advice.

Alyssa Gray-Tyghter, @alyssagtyghter
Alyssa Gray-Tyghter is a middle school teacher and PhD candidate who espouses the value of social justice in her classroom. You can find her wisdom in many places, but a good place to start is listening to her podcast, Teachers Like Us.

Title graphic reading, "Support our Partners"

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Title graphic reading, "Research in Support of Equity (RISE)"

In moments of social reckoning and social change, we look to scientific research and education to help us understand, reflect, and find new and better ways to move forward.

We hope this collection encourages you to ask questions, broaden your understanding with new perspectives, and engage with social equity. These resources provide historical and geographic context, as well as contemporary insights.

Whether you are a researcher, instructor, student, policymaker, or interested reader, Wiley has provided free access across six broad research categories, accessible through the navigation bar, to inform your further research and activism. Learn more at

Title graphic reading, "Reliable Resources"