A new book by Curriculum and Instruction faculty member Keffrelyn Brown tackles the “at-risk” label: After the At-Risk Label: Reorienting Educational Policy and Practice (Disability, Culture, and Equity Series). The book was published by Teachers College Press this summer.
Brown hopes that the book will challenge how educators and policymakers think about the label, so that it can be used more equitably.
Says Brown, “Risk matters. It’s an important construct that both pre-service and in-service teachers as well as policy[makers] invoke to presumably meet students’ needs. If you can figure out what the risk is and who has the risk or who faces the risk, you can better provide services for them.”
Although Brown believes that the idea of risk and that some people are “at risk” is deeply ingrained in Western culture, she questions the notion of using the at-risk label at all. “What I argue is that the term itself is laden with problems. The term is just one of many that has been deployed since the beginning of the 20th century to describe children who fundamentally are positioned as against the norm.”
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Photo by Christina S. Murrey