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Understanding Context

CDE Equity Toolkit - Understanding Context - with a picture of a kids and a teacher sitting on the library floor reading a book.

Understanding Context

The Understanding Context section is designed to help readers and users understand differences between students, laws/policies that impact students and how these aspects impact learning and self-development. This section also includes naming our current reality, school-based policy best practices, different datasets to review with an equity lens, gathering data from community, family, staff and students, examples of survey questions and tips to increase feedback participation. This section has several goals. 

  • You will understand more background on the laws and policies that support equity-based decisions at schools.
  • You will understand the data landscape across Colorado and what data to look for within schools to best understand differences.

  • You will better understand how student identity and differences can influence learning and success.

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What can I learn in this section?

Self Assessment

Take the assessments below to evaluate where your strengths and opportunities for improvement lie when it comes to understanding the context you’re working in. Likert Scale: Never (1), Rarely (2), Occasionally (3), Frequently (4), Always (5) 

Likert Scale: Never (1), Rarely (2), Sometimes (3), Frequently (4), Always (5)

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Naming Our Current Reality

When students are encouraged to embrace and celebrate their cultural identities in educational settings, they experience a positive impact on their self-esteem, motivation and engagement with learning. Studies have shown that students who have a strong cultural identity are more likely to feel a sense of pride in their heritage, which fosters a greater sense of confidence in their academic abilities and willingness to participate actively in the classroom. 

When students feel like they belong in their school environment, they experience a greater sense of connectedness with their peers, teachers and the overall school community. This sense of belonging reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness, and creates an inclusive atmosphere where students can thrive academically and emotionally. 

Schools that prioritize fostering a sense of belonging also see a decline in absenteeism and disciplinary issues, as students are more likely to be engaged and motivated to attend classes regularly.

Go back to Understanding Others page.

Go to the Context Activity

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A-Z Glossary

This page is maintained by the Federal Programs and Supports Unit.

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