Wednesday, June 22, 2011
American Educational Research Association Selects Book on Deficit Thinking for 2011 Outstanding Book Award
Educational psychologist Richard Valencia’s most recent book, “Dismantling Contemporary Deficit Thinking” (Routledge, 2010), was selected by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) for the 2011 Outstanding Book Award.
“Dismantling Contemporary Deficit Thinking” critiques “deficit thinking,” an approach to student academic failure fraught with racial and class bias that places blame upon the student and his or her background. The deficit thinking approach has existed for almost a century and has been applied to American minority students.
Described as a “superlative treatment” of deficit thinking by the AERA awards committee, Valencia’s book examines three contemporary deficit-based models of student academic failure. Valencia critiques these approaches, provides other explanations for academic failure, and offers research-based alternatives to deficit thinking from areas such as teacher education and educational leadership.
Valencia’s first book on deficit thinking, “The Evolution of Deficit Thinking: Educational Thought and Practice” (Routledge 1997), has become a classic on the subject.
“Richard Valencia has unquestionably become the expert on critiquing deficit thinking in education and educational research,” according to Dr. James Joseph Scheurich, a professor in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University. In addition to Scheurich, scholars in the field from around the world have expressed interest in Valencia’s work.
The AERA is an international professional organization established in 1916 that promotes educational research and its application. Its annual Outstanding Book Award honors the year’s best book-length publication in educational research and development. To be considered for the award, a book must be research-based and examine ways to improve the educational process.
Valencia is a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education and is an affiliate of the Center for Mexican American Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. In addition to the AERA’s Outstanding Book Award, “Dismantling Contemporary Deficit Thinking” was also nominated for the American Educational Studies Association Critics Book Award and the University Co-operative Society Robert W. Hamilton Book Award.