Educational equity and access as universal human rights: effects on teacher education in the U.S.

The relationship between universal human rights and educational equity and access within the context of the U.S. educational system is the focus of this article. The author, a professor for pre-service and in-service teachers, explores their notions of equity and access within the context of public schools in the United States.  Analyses of reflective journal entries written by her students in response to readings and class discussions produce the domains that appear most relevant to teachers in gaining understanding of the issues that affect equal opportunities for ALL students and how these opportunities are not privileges but rather rights that have been upheld universally. The concepts of equity and access are embedded in universal human rights, yet students’ statements fail to reflect these connections. Deeper connections to broader community contexts and worldviews are recommended for teacher educators in order to relate U.S. educational equality to universal human rights concerns.