What is FAIR?
There was a lot in chapter 4 and 5, many citings and quoting of different theorist, it reminded me of the Dodd’s 4th stage of teach. What really caught my attention was one small part of chapter 5 though. FAIRNESS. When I asked the parents of my students to fill out information about their child over 75% of them mentioned that what most upset their child was feeling like something was unfair, or that they were being treated unfairly by a friend, sibling or adult. On page 89 Nakkula & Toshalis mentioned “adolescent’s overriding concern for fairness.” The reciting of the common saying life’s not fair, deal with it doesn’t seem to work. But I think that a candid conversation on fairness with adolescents would greatly impact their perception. It is hard to go from a point of view that everything must be fair (they should share their toys because that is fair, or they should take turns because that is fair) to a point of view that fairness does not mean everything is equal. “Questions about fairness can become growth-promoting discussions about relationships, needs, and negotiations” (pg 89).
It is hard for me to find time in my teaching day to host “classroom discussions… to unpack issues of causality, responsibility, and ethics,” but I understand the importance and I will continue to strive to make it part of my instruction. I often wish that I was teaching literature or history, so that I could tie these conversations into my content, but I don’t, so I have to find ways to tie it into math and science. Because no matter what content we teach “participating in the co-construction of youth’s relational development can be extremely gratifying…” (pg 90).
Fair Isn't Equal by Richard Curwin (Edutopia)