News / Insights

6 Equity Gaps That Hinder Learning

Chicago is a city of abundance.

Yet, despite the city’s many opportunities, we know that too many gaps separate these opportunities from those who need them most.

This opportunity gap is an equity issue requiring us to connect Chicago’s abundance to the needs of all learners. That’s why CLX’s mission is:

To inspire and support innovation
that equips digital-age learners and leaders
to close Chicago’s opportunity gap.

With this mission, CLX partners with educators and organizations to narrow the gap between learning experiences and future opportunity for payoff in academics, careers, and civic life. The theory of connected learning provides an important foundation for that work.

To make current research more accessible, CLX has partnered with leading researchers in the field of connected learning, including Dr. Kiley Larson whose forthcoming co-authored book reveals the benefits of connected learning based on a five-year research study.

That partnership has produced a review of current research reveals that, in fact, this opportunity gap is related to several learning equity gaps that limit a young person’s ability to experience pathways to opportunity. These gaps include:

  • Awareness Gap - Do youth know about the learning experiences being offered in their city?
  • Access Gap - Can youth afford the costs associated with the learning experience? Do they have the ability to reach the location?
  • Attendance Gap - If they have access, do youth show up for programming?
  • Engagement Gap - If they show up, do they join in and actively engage in the learning experience?
  • Pathways Gap - If youth show up and engage, do they discover new places to deepen their learning or new interests to pursue at different organizations?
  • Opportunity Gap - If they show up and engage, can youth translate their learning experiences into academic, career, or civic opportunities?

We are proud to publish this review of literature to inform practitioners, funders, and policymakers about the nature of these learning equity gaps and what can be done to address them.

This review of literature represents the research foundations of CLX’s work, and we invite you to read it, share it, and give us feedback that will help us increase equity for Chicago’s youth.

CLX Review of Literature: Research Foundations for the Chicago Learning Exchange by Chicago Learning Exchange on Scribd