WHITLOWE R. GREEN COLLEGE OF EDUCATION Doctoral Proposal Defense Announcement ABSTRACT THE ROLE OF DEFICIT THINKING IN EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES; DEVELOPING A SURVEY TO DETERMINE LEVELS OF ADHERENCE TO DEFICIT THINKING. (November 20, 2015) Brenda Lea Marfin, B.S., University of Houston; M.S., Sam Houston State University Chair of Advisory Committee: Tyrone Tanner, Ed.D. Deficit thinking is the conceptualization of demographic differences such as race, gender, or culture as inherent deficiencies within students, families, or communities. As Gorski (2010) confirmed, “. . . deficit thinking emerges when we mistake difference—particularly difference from ourselves—for deficit” (p.2). In today’s society, deficit thinking is often used as a means of negatively defining and explaining certain minority groups. The effects of deficit thinking create caste systems, racial division, and perpetuate marginalization. Within the educational environment, this method of thinking is counterproductive to the principles of effective pedagogy and teacher efficacy. In fact, Gorski, (2010) warned that “such a perspective deteriorates expectations for students and weakens educators’ abilities to recognize giftedness in its various forms” (p. 2). In parallel, an educator’s knowledge of culture relates to the characteristics of temporal changes and pseudoscience. The characteristics of victim-blaming and educability link with educator attitude toward marginalized students. Finally, educator behavior toward marginalized students connects with the characteristics of oppression and heterodoxy (Valencia, 2010). These characteristics construct the Deficit Thinking Model (DTM) (Valencia, 2010), which is the theoretical framework that will be used to guide this study. Thus, the purpose of this study is to develop an attitudinal survey on the DTM that will provide an answer to the following research question: To what extent do educators adhere to characteristics of the DTM: (1) victim blaming, (2) oppression, (3) pseudoscience, (4) temporal changes, (5) educability, and (6) heterodoxy. Describing the level of adherence to specific characteristics of the DTM will provide an alternative vantage point for future research into the broad, systemic issues faced by marginalized students. A review of the literature indicated that research in the area of deficit thinking is limited to qualitative studies focused on observation and discourse (Gorski, 2010). The lack of quantitative information available to assess levels of deficit thinking inherent within educators is the impetus for this study. The researcher will develop a cross-sectional survey that adheres to the rigors of a pilot study, to determine adherence to the DTM among educators. Construct validity will be established through a rating scale that will be validated by experts in the field. Question reliability analysis will be performed—including a principal component factor analysis. Finally, Cronbach’s coefficient alpha will be determined. Date: November 20, 2015 Department: Educational Leadership and Counseling Time: 10:00 Location/Room: Delco/240____ Dissertation Chair: Tyrone Tanner, Ed.D. Dissertation Committee Members: Patricia A. Smith, Ed.D. Douglas Hermond, Ph.D. Terence L. Finley, Ph.D.