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ERIC Number: EJ971437
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0313-7155
What Is Compensatory Pedagogy Trying to Compensate for? Compensatory Strategies and the Ethnic "Other"
Moller, Asa
Issues in Educational Research, v22 n1 p60-78 2012
Compensatory pedagogy is in theory a strategy used to manage social and cultural diversity (Sleeter, 2007) by providing extra resources or special treatment for so-called deprived groups. A problem with this particular kind of approach to social and cultural diversity is that it lacks critical awareness of the way social differences (i.e. race, gender, class and language) are constructed (Hall, 1997). This article examines how teachers use different strategies to compensate and minimise ethnic differences and why these strategies fall short of intended purposes. More specifically, the purpose is to understand how pedagogy that takes compensatory approach can reaffirm the construction of racialised social differences (Bonilla-Silva, 2005) and how this approach can be counterproductive to the intended purpose of creating social equity between so called "ethnic Swedes" and the marginalised ethnic "other". The study is based on ethnography carried out at a secondary school in an urban area with a large multi-ethnic population. Analysis of the data is informed by theory from post-colonialism and critical race (Leonardo, 2009; Loomba, 1998; 2005). The results suggest that compensatory strategies are inadequate because they are based on a deficit perspective of the working-class and racialised ethnic "other". [1]. (Banks, 2008). In sum, this approach tends to be an affirmation of "otherness" rather than an equaliser because of the uncritical approach to the construction of "race", class, gender and language norms. A critical awareness of norms is needed in order to transform education practices into more equitable, representative and culturally democratic forms (Banks, 2005). (Contains 7 endnotes.)
Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc. 5/202 Coode Street, Como, Western Australia 6152, Australia. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 5; Grade 9; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden