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Past event Part of series: Research Commission: Poverty and Policy Advocacy

Challenging deficit models of poverty

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The BERA Commission on Poverty and Policy Advocacy: seminar series

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The second seminar in the series challenges deficit models of poverty and poor children. 

Policy discourses are tending to treat poverty as the fault or problem of specific groups and individuals, such as parents and increasingly teachers and schools in low-income communities. How do we resists and reframe discourses of education and poverty in times when officials tend to count and account for, so called, low educational attainment, and undertake correlations between achievements in public tests and post codes which in turn identify the location of ‘poor communities’?  Presentations in this seminar will report research studies, methods and theoretical frames that bring to light the complexity of the intersection of the history of post-industrial places, community ‘beingness’, and academic subjectivities. 

‘Poverty and Education in Wales:
An overview of the policy agenda and on-going research’

09.30 Arrivals, refreshments & film viewing ‘The History of Poverty in Wales’
10.00 Welcome and Introductions
Valerie Walkerdine

Paul Dear, Head of Third Sector and Community Policy, WG & Dr Emma Small, Senior Deprivation and Engagement Manager, Education Department

10.25 Questions and Comments
10.30 Paradoxes and dilemmas in Education in Wales
David Egan & Christala Sophocleous

The Blame Game: schools, families, society – whose fault is it that poverty and poor academic achievement are so closely linked?
Sarah Lloyd-Jones or Duncan Holton (People and Work Unit)

11.15 Small group discussion
11.45 Group Feedback
12.00 Practitioners’ perspectives on poverty
Siriol Burford, Child Safe-guarding and Well-being consultant &
Sian Williams, Inclusion Officer, Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr
12.20 Discussion
12.30 Lunch

Resisting deficit discourse:
Hope, potential and resources in low-income communities


Intergenerational transmission of poverty
Valerie Walkerdine


Counteracting pathologising discourses of poverty and creating radical pedagogies
Gabrielle Ivinson, Emma Renold, Gareth Thomas

14.25 Small group discussion

Alternative methodologies: researching against the grain of deficit thinking
Maggie MacLure

14.55 Plenary: ideas, alternative methods and ways forward
15.30 Close of meeting