THE EQUITY-CARE MATRIX: THEORY AND PRACTICE
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The Equity-Care Matrix stems from preparation for a joint keynote at the OpenEd20 conference. In crowdsourcing this question - "What is EQUITY without CARE? What is CARE without EQUITY?" (Bali, 2020a) - we illuminated the convergence and divergence of these two concepts. This article describes the development of our matrix, explores its implications with vignettes to contextualize the equity/care nexus in educational technology, and demonstrate the failure of one without the other. We highlight systemic injustice and how policies and platforms can reproduce inequality by weaponizing care. The problem of “partial care” illustrates how attempts at providing care can only be band-aids at best, and harmful at worst, without systemic justice. Similarly, “contractual equity” showcases policies meant to redress injustice which fail by remaining performative because those involved do not internalize the values that drive equity. Finally, we highlight the need to cultivate cultures that value and reward care and equity and suggest that “socially just care” is everyone’s responsibility.
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