Focusing upon diversity is important because philosophies and ideologies drive society. Membership in certain cultures often positions members in marginal statuses because some members of other cultures hold the ideology that to be different, from them, is to be deficit, intellectually. Others, including me, believe that membership in certain cultures does not make one deficit, intellectually. Therefore, my philosophy of diversity is that “different is not deficit.” Three meanings of diversity are varieties, distinct, and sundry. There can be differences even in varieties. The determination of which variety is superior or subservient is in the mind of the determiner. The determination of identity is in the beholder’s mind.
Focusing upon identity is important for issues of student achievement globally. In this paper, students, of all nationalities, represent the minds of the determiners and the minds of the beholders. When students see, mostly, certain cultures in subservient jobs, a message is sent that “different is deficit” and achievement is for certain people. As these students grow up, they begin to manage culture. Those who manage culture with the philosophy and ideology of the deficit model will maintain and perpetrate the same oppressive regime of racism within society.
|Keywords:||Identity, Diversity, Philosophy of Diversity, Deficit Model, Student Achievement|
Assistant Professor, Department of Elementary Education and Reading, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, New York, USA
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