HW 5.3: Examining Assumptions about Immigrant Families

Uncovering Deficit Theory in My Perceptions of Families


Learning Outcome Pedagogical Intent Student Position

Provide support and advocacy. 

 Employ strategies to empower parents/families to participate in their child’s education. 

Assessment: 50 pts.

Due: Session 6

Teachers can build stronger relationships with the families they work with when they come from a position of empowering parents rather than thinking from a deficit stance.

Students have studied the National PTA Standards and are ready to look at deficit theory.  They will notice the difference in thinking between deficit theory and better actions that enable parents to take a strong role in supporting their children’s education.


1. Study the chart at the top of ‘Assumptions About Family Engagement’.  Click on the following link: Assumptions About Family Engagement Worksheet.

2. The topics in the first column are: role, resources, starting point, diversity, decision-making, accountability, and contributing.  Notice the middle column, Traditional Assumptions, and the last column, Better Alternatives.

3. Think about where your thinking falls in relation to the second and third columns. Are your thinking and actions more traditional? Can you identify things you might do to improve your practice with students and families?

4. Now answer the five questions following the table. Bring this form with you to session 6. 

This content is provided to you freely by BYU Open Learning Network.

Access it online or download it at https://open.byu.edu/partnerships/hw_53_deficit_theory.