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ERIC Number: EJ1047047
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0003-1003
Leveling the Playing Field: The Normed-Opportunity Paradigm
Walker, Alicia; Cormier, Bret T.
American Secondary Education, v43 n1 p33-51 Fall 2014
We examined the practices, beliefs, and attitudes of secondary teachers in order to identify factors that led to success for non-dominant-group students. We found a unique paradigm among educators whose students of color and/or poverty showed no achievement gap. Rather than coming from a deficit perspective or one expecting assimilation, those teachers displayed an outlook and approach that positioned non-dominant group students as different rather than deficient. In fact, coming from this perspective, the educators recognized that while non-dominant students may be lacking in some typical student behaviors and skills, they bring other skills with them which can be harnessed and transferred into academic success. We call this unique paradigm the Normed-Opportunity Paradigm. The practices that the educators in this paradigm used to help non-dominant students to succeed included: sharing student culture; allowing students to lead; discerning hidden talents; and refraining from moral judgments.
Ashland University Dwight Schar College of Education. 229 Dwight Schar Building, 401 College Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805. Tel: 419-289-5273; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A