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Agency and Empowerment

This entry provides an overview of the concepts agency and empowerment, and their link to diversity in education. An exploration of the concepts and the processes and outcomes associated with them is used to present the challenges and possibilities of making them critical to meeting the needs of a culturally diverse K–12 and postsecondary population in the United States.

A major challenge faced in exploring and making use of the ideas associated with the concepts is the multidimensionality and complexity of the concepts and the focus of educational institutions on standardization, testing, and accountability. Agency refers to the freedom to do whatever one needs to in order to achieve goals or values that one views as important. Empowerment refers to the ability to gain power to, ...

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