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ERIC Number: EJ766321
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1784
Discarding the Deficit Model
Harry, Beth; Klingner,Janette
Educational Leadership, v64 n5 p16-21 Feb 2007
The main criterion for eligibility for special education services in schools has been proof of intrinsic deficit. There are two problems with this focus: First, defining and identifying high-incidence disabilities are ambiguous and subjective processes. Second, the focus on disability has become so intertwined with the historical devaluing of minorities in the United States that these two deficit lens now deeply influence the special education placement process. The end result is a disproportionate placement of some minority groups in special education. Some encouraging directions are underway that may help schools focus on differences rather than on deficits. These include a change in the discrepancy model, the Response to Intervention model (RTI), which focuses on early intervention; and involving parents in the placement process. A new vision of special education is called for in which the notion of disability is reserved for students with clear-cut diagnoses of biological or psychological limitations and the categorization is used only for the purpose of delivering intensive, specialized services in the least restrictive education environment possible.
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. 1703 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311-1714. Tel: 800-933-2723; Tel: 703-578-9600; Fax: 703-575-5400; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Brown v Board of Education; Education for All Handicapped Children Act; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A