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Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology

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Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology

Neil J. Salkind

Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412963848 | Print ISBN: 9781412916882 | Online ISBN: 9781412963848 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Cultural Deficit Model

The cultural deficit model (hereafter referred to as the deficit model) is the perspective that minority group members are different because their culture is deficient in important ways from the dominant majority group. The field of educational psychology has long been interested in understanding why racially different, non-White children perform differently in school, with an emphasis on academic underachievement. The deficit model has been important in the evolution of thinking about this important social issue. Hence, the deficit model asserts that racial/ethnic minority groups do not achieve as well as their White majority peers in school and life because their family culture is dysfunctional and lacking important characteristics compared to the White American culture. Other names for the deficit model have been cultural disadvantage , cultural underclass , cultural poverty , culturally deprived , and social pathology. In the following paragraphs, the deficit model is discussed further along with examples ...

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