Re-thinking Diversity in Higher Education: The ‘Deficit-Discourse’ Shift

By Jill Lawrence.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The shift conceptualises the university as a culture encompassing a multiplicity of sub-cultures, each with its own literacy or discourse. New students, for example, need to rapidly, and simultaneously, become familiar with and engage faculty, discipline and course discourses, library, research, administrative, technological, information and academic literacies, the university environment, and the teaching and learning styles, procedures and cultural practices present in the university culture. The students also need to be able to balance the requirements of their personal, social, academic and work lives.
The shift recasts the students’ transition to the new university culture as the processes of becoming familiar with and engaging these multiple literacies and discourses, and perseverance as the processes of mastering and demonstrating them. The ‘Model for Students Success Practices at University’ provides three practical, dynamic strategies that assist unfamiliar students to achieve this engagement. The three practices include reflective practice, socio – cultural practice and critical practice.
Reflective practice consists of the capacities of observation, listening and watching, as well as the capacities for reflection before, in and on practice. Socio – cultural practice, which stems from cross-cultural communication theory, encompasses the capabilities of seeking help and information, participating in a group, making social contact, seeking and giving feedback, expressing disagreement and refusing a request.

Keywords: Literacies, Higher Education, Encompassing

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.21-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.169MB).

Dr. Jill Lawrence

Lecturer, Faculty of Arts, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Qld, Australia


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