Deficit-Laden Use of Constructs in Anti-Oppressive Curriculum

Vonzell Agosto, Ashley White, Maria Migueliz Valcarlos


In this paper, the authors draw from critical disability scholarship (narrative prosthesis) and communications (intersectional rhetoric) to interrogate and illustrate how anti-oppressive curriculum advances deficit-ladenenss associated with dis/ability. They categorize deficit-laden constructs as negatively or positively oriented. Negative oriented constructs used to advance racial justice (i.e., color-blindness, color-mute, dysconscious racism, racial dyslexia) remind people not to be (blind, mute, dysconscious, dyslexic) racist. Positive oriented constructs (i.e., standpoint theory, voice, visible or non-visible disability) privilege ways of being, sensing, and expressing resistance to oppression using unimpaired abilities. The authors offer spectral curriculum theory based on materialist criticism to intervene in the deficit-laden use of constructs in anti-oppressive curriculum.


Dis/Ability Curriculum Communications Rhetoric

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JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

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