A child’s life prospects should not depend on the morally arbitrary circumstances of birth, such as social class, race, or gender. These beliefs have contributed to the emergence of the principle of equality in education, which protects the individual’s rights regardless of inherent aspects. This canon is based on the premise that schooling significantly affects a person’s potential and determines future success; therefore, everyone should be given an equal opportunity to develop. Nevertheless, the problem of discrimination exists, and not all educators understand how to overcome the barrier of inequality. Elena Agular’s book, Coaching for Equity, is a guide for those who care about unbiased education and desire to discover practices and tools that contribute to a supportive learning environment.
One of the critical messages of the book is that knowledge and awareness of history enable one to recognize the hardships experienced by minorities. The racial or ethnic achievement gap is a significant problem in the U.S., with detrimental consequences for both the child and the state. These issues have a profound background and context, and even though society is moving toward democracy, discrimination does not disappear. Over the years, white people have dominated Black, Indigenous, and people of color, leading to many prejudices, fears, and stereotypes. This factor is the primary reason why BIPOC students feel uncomfortable around others, which must change.
The book’s purpose is not only to clarify the historical process of the formation of inequality. Its primary task is to educate each reader on what steps need to be taken to create equitable classrooms. One of the author’s most appealing ideas revolves around conversation and its essential role in the learning process. Quality dialogue promotes trust and comfort for students of color; therefore, the ability to speak and listen respectfully is crucial. Through discussions, the teacher can understand the student’s values and guide them in the right direction. The more educational opportunities children have, the more they can acquire. Therefore, it is vital to concentrate on the latent potential of the individual rather than on the distinct accomplishments.
The most attractive idea of the book is that a just school is the consequence of the four stages of transformational coaching. The first is an external reality that involves deep insight into racial inequality and its roots. The next step is recognizing the fact, written based on the author’s experience of conversing about discrimination. This stage is heeded by an exploration of emotions, where the primary mission is to observe the interaction of diverse groups of students and employ the techniques that contribute to the stabilization of their relationship. The last phase is the creation of unique practices, which should be comprehended as the systematization of the progress of dialogues and coaching and its impact on fairness.
Coaching for Equity is necessary for every educator because it includes essential supplemental material and techniques that enhance professional practice. The book is based on theory, training, and firsthand experience to help educators acquire knowledge of transformational coaching and understand how to manage, interrupt, and change unjustnesses when they arise. Its significance cannot be overemphasized, as it promotes an awareness of the teacher’s active role in achieving equitable learning and the need for preventive actions. Especially before the age of 12, when teacher authority is high, they need to maintain a dialogue that shapes children’s negative attitudes toward racism.
Furthermore, the book permits recognizing that aggressive children are emotionally immature individuals experiencing growing up. If a student is constantly asserting himself at the expense of a weaker one, it may indicate some psychological issues, including those related to relationships in the family. The book instructs that parents are the primary helpers of the educator in the process of conducting tolerance. Correspondingly, its ideas contribute to understanding which practices enable one to form a reasonable opinion. It is imperative to create a comfortable environment for each child to feel their importance, essence, and need. Aguilar anchors her story in real-life experiences and behaviors of children, so all of her ideas seem to be rational. Each chapter is logical, supported by evidence, and has a clear cause-and-effect relationship between actions and developments. Moreover, the sections have questions for readers, and reflecting on them allows one to evaluate the practice and confirm how thoughtful the author’s advice is.
Children born into marginalized groups, low-income families, or other difficulties start life with no equal opportunity to succeed. As they grow up, other exclusion factors, such as gender or ethnic discrimination, emerge, preventing them from reaching their full potential. It raises the risk of children becoming involved in crime, violence, and other destructive activities. The ideas in the book are very inspiring and motivating to change approaches to teaching to prevent those hardships. Coaching for Equity clarifies that quality dialogue can make a difference, so one needs to do everything conceivable in order to reduce inequity. There are no challenging ideas, and the writing style is so logical and consistent that there is no reason to doubt the correctness of the statements.
In conclusion, Coaching for Equity is a book that offers concrete strategies, sequences of steps, inspiring stories, tools, and resources that promote unbiased education. The path to equity for children consists of understanding the current conditions, the progress made toward eliminating disparities, and the amount of work to be accomplished. These prerequisites are the basis of the author’s ideas, which contribute to personal development and comprehending a just educational environment.