A deficit perspective is a propensity to locate the source of academic problems in deficiencies within students, their families, their communities, or their membership in social categories (such as race and gender). While the deficit perspective is a common topic of discussion in K–12 mathematics education, it is a much rarer topic of discussion in undergraduate mathematics education. I argue that undergraduate mathematics instructors should take the deficit perspective seriously, because it structures educational experiences for students and instructors. In this survey article, I provide a brief review of the literature on deficit perspectives in mathematics education, and I offer practical suggestions for education from an anti-deficit perspective.
- asset-based education
- Deficit perspective