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What's Wrong with a Deficit Perspective?


by Randy Bomer, Joel E. Dworin, Laura May & Peggy Semingson — June 03, 2009

This reply to Ruby Payne’s response to Bomer, et al (2008) begins with a statement of areas of agreement between the authors and Payne. They then state that Payne’s work contains factual inaccuracies and that teachers need higher quality information about economically disadvantaged communities, families, and children. The reply goes on to discuss the disadvantages of educators’ holding deficit perspectives: harm to relationships between teachers and children and to the quality of instruction they receive, as well as harm in the relationships among family members and educators. The authors critique Payne’s use of research findings in her response and they rebut her suggestion that their position is deterministic.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: June 03, 2009
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15648, Date Accessed: 8/21/2014 7:57:18 PM

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About the Author
  • Randy Bomer
    University of Texas at Austin
    E-mail Author
    RANDY BOMER is on the education faculty at the University of Texas at Austin. He conducts research on classroom practices in literacy education and on social and political dimensions of education.
  • Joel Dworin
    University of Texas at El Paso
    E-mail Author
    JOEL E. DWORIN is faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at El Paso. His research interests include literacy and biliteracy development and issues related to culture, language, social class and race/ethnicity in classrooms and communities.
  • Laura May
    Georgia State University
    E-mail Author
    LAURA MAY is an Assistant Professor at Georgia State University.
  • Peggy Semingson
    University of Texas at Arlington
    E-mail Author
    PEGGY SEMINGSON is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington.
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