VOICES IN AN EDUCATION TRAP: Linguistic Deficit Theory in Nova Scotia Assessments
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Research in the area of sociolinguistics, African Nova Scotian Ebonics, and literacy achievement never truly developed in Nova Scotia. Unlike previous literacy outcome research, this research study employs a qualitative content analysis and Critical Pedagogy to examine the process of assessment and the Linguistic Deficit Theory embedded within the education system. The sociolinguistic hierarchy of Standard English has caused numerous misconceptions, which impacts the Ebonics speech community across the African diaspora. Yet, previous research found that the promotion of code-switching between Standard English and Ebonics in an anti-racist empowering environment promotes higher literacy achievement among Ebonics speakers. My research findings suggest that the Nova Scotia education system has implemented cultural and linguistic diverse curriculum policies. However, the Linguistic Deficit Theory resurfaces in several sections of the assessment process. These findings suggest that future research should focus on in-classroom participation or observing the assessment practices for more detailed and generalizable findings.