Professors need to stop trying to fix student “deficits,” writes IHE contributor

November 2, 2016

Professors need to think beyond the “deficit” model of teaching, which sees students as individuals whose personal or intellectual shortcomings need to be fixed by their professors, writes John Warner for Inside Higher Ed. Warner recounts how he used to impose strict standards on students with the belief that they had been too “coddled” prior to postsecondary school and needed a strong dose of reality. The author writes that he changed his approach by focusing on what students were prepared to do rather than what they were unprepared to do. “I now believe,” Warner concludes, “that it is dangerous and damaging to define students by their perceived deficits, particularly when those deficits are the product of one person’s (my) entirely subjective judgment prone to all matter of biases, only some of which I’m even aware of.” Inside Higher Ed