Beyond Research "on" Cultural Minorities: Challenges and Implications of Research as Situated Cultural Practice

Exceptional children (Impact Factor: 2.75). 12/2007; 74(3).


This article examines the cultural nature of research. This is a consequential idea as research knowledge is expected to inform professional practices for our increasingly multicultural society. We highlight theoretical and methodological limits of the traditional practice of research on cultural groups and outline research as situated cultural practice. This notion challenges researchers to widen the analytic spotlight from a focus on certain groups to shed light on two additional aspects, namely, the sociocultural location of the researcher as a cultural being and member of a scientific field, and the cultural presuppositions in a field's habitual practices. We outline a model of culture that underlies the idea of research as situated cultural practice. We illustrate this notion with quantitative and qualitative research examples and reflect on implications for future research. (Contains 1 table.)

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Available from: Alfredo J. Artiles, Sep 21, 2014
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    • "This is an interesting consideration since it means that interventions could be conducted with high fidelity, but with weak ecological validity. 4 (Arzubiaga et al. 2008, 320). By the same token, children's " offstage " cultural activities may not be aligned either with the behaviors, skills, or practices ostensibly mapped in intervention protocols. "
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    ABSTRACT: I critique in this article the construct of culture because of its centrality in creating the notion of difference, which has been commonly applied to marginalized populations. I examine critically how the notion of culture has been theorized in educational research as a means to obtain theoretical clarity in research design and reporting, as well as inform future policy and reform efforts. I reframe the idea of culture to transcend the favored focus on background markers and include institutional and social practices to expand the unit of analysis beyond stereotyped groups or individuals. This perspective will enable us to understand how the constructs of learning, ability, and culture get increasingly intertwined with damaging consequences that perpetuate historical injustices. I illustrate the framework with a critique of Response to Intervention (RTI) by outlining the ways in which the idea of culture has been taken up in this research. The proposed standpoint empowers us to rely on a view of culture that honors its dynamic, historical, and dialectical nature.
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    • "310). The notion of research as situated cultural practice (Arzubiaga et al., 2008) provides a framework for our commentary on the articles of this special issue on multidisciplinary collaboration to support struggling readers. We elaborate on and illustrate aspects of this notion before moving to our comments on each article, respectively, and finally to a summary of themes and implications across the 5 articles written by our colleagues in the fields of school psychology and special education, for whom we have great respect. "
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    ABSTRACT: Our commentary responds to the five articles of the special issue on multidisciplinary collaboration to support struggling readers. From our perspectives informed by experiences working with diverse student and family populations in urban settings, preparing pre- and in-service educators and specialists to do the same, and working in federally funded technical assistance and dissemination centers focused on equity issues in general and special education, we highlight themes and raise issues across the articles. Accordingly, we discuss learning to read in the broader context of literacy acquisition, and examine issues of effectiveness, power, and privilege within consultative and collaborative professional relationships aimed at addressing diverse learners' reading capacities and outcomes.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation
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    • "Importantly, this pattern of overrepresentation does not occur in medically defined disability categories 2 (e.g., blind, deaf) (Harry and Klingner 2006). Therefore concern is significant when children of color are overrepresented in disability categories that rely on the judgment of adults, who may conflate differences with internal deficits (Arzubiaga et al. 2008). This conceptual framework of CRT and DisCrit provided several affordances. "
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    ABSTRACT: In this article, I empirically examined the dispositions of teachers in juvenile justice surrounding young women of color with disabilities to inform what improvements can be made in teacher education. I utilized Critical Race Theory (CRT) and focused on the tenet of whiteness as property as a lens to provide a robust racial analysis of the dispositions of teachers. Findings indicated that instead of a status that elicited support, ability became another thing to surveil, perpetuating a commitment to whiteness as property. An implication that arose directly from these findings was that teachers need training in understanding theories of race, racism, and inequities that recognize the historical legacy of whiteness as property. This training could lead to a change in teacher dispositions and practices that may disrupt the School to Prison Pipeline. The School to Prison Pipeline, or the Pipeline, has historically steered children out of school and into prisons (Advancement Project 2010). Through methods such as ticketing students for minor offenses, implementing disciplinary removal, and ''securing the environment'' through means such as metal detectors and fencing, schools funneled children of color into prisons (ACLU 2008; Kim et al. 2010). This criminalization of children of color illustrated what Fredrick Douglas (1883) called the American habit to ''impute crime to color''. Pipeline literature made explicit connections between race, criminalization, and education (Bahena et al. 2012). However, other social identity markers and their intersections with race marked children as more susceptible to the Pipeline.
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