Skip main navigation

Area 4: Extending equity

Extending equity is about supporting participants in the longer term and thinking about how practice can benefit the wider community.
2.9
The fourth and final overarching area focuses on Extending equity. The focus on Community and society orientation highlights that equitable practice ought to benefit not only the individuals who are directly involved, but also their families and their wider community. Within this equity dimension, it is helpful to consider questions such as, what are your learning outcomes and for who? Might your practice predominantly focus on the individual and what they get out of taking part? Or does your practice also consider and support wider outcomes, such as for the larger community? How do you directly or indirectly involve young people’s families and their local community?
51.1
How could you help young people make a difference using STEM, to use STEM skills and knowledge to improve their lives? We also know that many informal STEM learning activities are one-off and short term, often focusing on reaching high numbers rather than working with young people over longer periods of time. And certain settings and programmes, some would say, are very much set up to offer such short interactions. Yet, extending equitable support and opportunities is critical for many young people, especially those from less privileged backgrounds. To maximise impact, it is important to consider how engagement opportunities can be extended to support young people in the longer term.
99.6
Even if your current work primarily involves short interactions, there are ways you could support extended engagement. Within this equity dimension, it is helpful to consider questions such as, if a young person discovers a new interest or passion during a session, would they know how to explore that idea further? How do you support longer term engagement? For example, what happens after the session?

The fourth Equity Compass area is called ‘Extending equity’, which includes two equity dimensions: Community/society orientation and the Long-term aspect of practice.

In this video, Spela explains what the ‘Extending equity’ area entails and how it can help us think about extending equitable opportunities for more people and over a longer time. She describes the two dimensions within this area and gives examples of reflection questions for each.

  • Community/society orientation highlights that equitable practice ought to benefit not only the participants who are directly involved, but also their families and their wider community. For instance, how do you involve young people’s families, or support the participants to use STEM skills and knowledge to improve their lives and ‘make a difference’?
  • Long term dimension emphasises the importance of providing ongoing, sustainable and connected opportunities for participants. For instance, how do you support or signpost participants to further opportunities?

Next, we use the questions introduced within this Equity Compass area to think about an illustrative case study taking place in a school.

This article is from the free online

Equity in Informal STEM Learning: Using the Equity Compass

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education