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What is Deficit Thinking

Handbook of Research on Service-Learning Initiatives in Teacher Education Programs
Viewing a sociocultural and environmental context with a lens that judges the context in weaknesses or what is missing.
Published in Chapter:
Establishing Asset Thinking With Preservice Teachers: Community-Engaged Learning With Young Children From Public Housing
Christopher Meidl (Duquesne University, USA), Xia Chao (Duquesne University, USA), and Anne Marie FitzGerald (Duquesne University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4041-0.ch014
This chapter explores how deficit and asset thinking of preservice teachers is influenced when they are provided with community-engaged learning (CEL) that prepares them to serve children and families from a marginalized community. Twenty-seven early childhood education preservice teachers participated in CEL at a local HUD neighborhood as part of a junior level course called Families, Schools, and Communities. Narrative inquiry guided the methodological framework to analyze data from course assignments including weekly Exit Slips and student reflections from the actual CEL experience. From those data sources, several themes emerged in relation to asset thinking, deficit think, and pedagogical approaches to learning about marginalized communities using CEL. Students recognized asset thinking in a variety of ways, but also were stuck using deficit thinking to judge the community's utility of a childcare event.
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More Results
Story Shaping Ideology: Majoritarian Stories of English Learners
A set of beliefs that assumes that marginalized populations experience struggle due to their own weakness, decisions or intrinsic work ethic.
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#DeleteDeficitThinking: Strategies to Name and Challenge Deficit Thinking in Universal Design for Learning
The act of conceptualizing students from a place of lack and inferiority and framing people with disabilities as having inherent problems and inequalities that they are responsible for remedying.
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Community Cultural Wealth: Uncovering Assets Through Community Mapping
The notion that students, families, and communities, particularly historically marginalized and communities of color are at fault and responsible for the challenges and systemic inequalities they face.
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