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This week’s readings on the deficit model focused primarily on instruction. Howe

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This week’s readings on the deficit model focused primarily on instruction. However, the same phenomenon happens with classroom management. Teachers view the behaviors of minority students as “off task” or “disruptive,” while those same behaviors from mainstream students are interpreted more positively.
The results of this deficit model can be devastating. In Seattle Public Schools, young Black men are suspended at wildly disproportionate rates, and both internal and external investigations have found that Black students are often suspended, while White students are often let off with warnings or not even disciplined for the exact same behaviors.
The takeaway is this: “good” behavior is a culturally laden construct. Notions of “proper” classroom participation vary from group to group and culture to culture, but most teachers don’t recognize this. Consequently, when they see “bad” behavior, they often don’t recognize that it may not be an issue of “bad” but rather of culture clash.
What examples of culturally-laden classroom behaviors can you think of? I’ll start: talking in class. The idea that students would be silent until given permission to speak is not shared by all cultures. I’m White. In my church, for example, when the pastor is talking, the congregation is silent. In some African-American churches, however, the congregation is expected to talk back during the sermon. This “call and response” interaction between pastor and congregation is often mirrored in classrooms. When an African-American student calls out during class without raising her hand, she may just be participating in a way that is culturally appropriate for her.
(Yes, I know that there is no such thing as a monolithic African-American culture. This is just an example. It’s a real one, though)
What other examples can you come up with? Give specifics!
Be sure to respond to at least one other student’s post, so that we can truly have discussion.

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