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.
- construct of culture
- Response to Intervention (RTI)
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