Challenging deficit discourses in international education and development: A BAICE Thematic Forum

BAICE Thematic Forums
BAICE Thematic Forums

This BAICE Thematic Forum is organised by the University of East Anglia Literacy and Development Group and Leeds School of Politics and International Studies.

It aims to deepen understanding around how deficit discourses have shaped the questions and objectives of international educational research. As well as deconstructing and gaining greater knowledge into why and how these dominant deficit discourses have influenced the research agenda, we will also investigate and propose alternative conceptual models through the two linked seminars. In some respects, this BAICE Thematic Forum has similar objectives to the earlier BAICE ‘Insider-Outsider’ Thematic Forum (convened by University of Bristol and The Open University): we are reflecting, critiquing and offering alternatives to a longstanding and familiar discourse, which has shaped much research and policy in the field of international education and development.

The Thematic Forum will consist of two linked seminars, intended to explore and challenge dominant deficit discourses that have shaped the way researchers/policy makers look at specific groups in development and thematic policy areas.

  1. Flourishing in the margins? Challenging discourses of group-based deficit, University of Leeds, 22 April 2015 Registration deadline 20 March. Seminar 1_22April_Poster
  2. Invisible or hidden? Challenging discourses around ‘skills deficit’, University of East Anglia, 6 May 2015 Registration deadline 20 March. Seminar 2_6May_Poster

 Our purpose in these seminars is to explore how deficit discourses are perpetuated and communicated today and what they mean for researchers, policy makers and the wider public. We will further explore how researchers today are challenging such discourses and providing alternative lenses for analysis, in order to promote new insights and understandings into questions of marginalisation – with regard to specific groups and to how certain educational themes are framed.

For further information and registration, please contact Miriam at

BAICE Thematic Forum Poster FINAL