"My Three Sons"

"My Three Sons"



Monday, May 30, 2011

The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People's Children --Talking Points-Argument

  Lisa Delpit

In the article "The Silenced Dialogue:  Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People's Children", author Lisa Delpit  addresses  concerns about "skills" versus "process" approaches to writing instruction in regards to how these approaches affect students who do not belong to what she calls "the culture of power."  
Delpit uses the debate over process-oriented versus skills-oriented writing instruction as the starting-off point to examine the "culture of power” that exists in society in general and in the educational environment in particular. She analyzes five complex rules of power that explicitly and implicitly influence the debate over meeting the educational needs of Black and poor students on all levels. Delpit concludes that teachers must teach all students the explicit and implicit rules of power as a first step toward a more just society. "When implicit codes are attempted across cultures," Delpit explains, "communication frequently breaks down." These students often find themselves being held accountable for knowing a set of rules that no one has taught them.
Delpit argues that teachers should directly and explicitly educate students who don't know or have exposure to specific codes, rules, styles and values that exist within the culture of power, and that these same teachers must also reinforce to students the value that their own culture has. Delpit also argues that this kind of  instruction can best be done by adults who share their culture," the Black teachers and parents whose concerns haven't been heard.  These are the voices and points of view that have been silenced by those who have created the culture of power. 

Delpit also argues that we must learn to be vulnerable enough to allow our world to turn upside down in order to allow the realities of others into our consciousness. Delpit claims "This can only be done, however, by seeking out those whose perspectives may differ most, by learning to give their words complete attention, by understanding one's own power, even if that power stems merely from being in the majority, by being unafraid to raise questions about discrimination and voicelessness with people of color and to listen, no, cohear what they say. Delpit suggest that the results of such interactions may be the most powerful and empowering coalescence yet seen in the educational realm for all teachers and for all the students they teach." 

What I think Delpit was saying is that  there is a "culture of power" that exists in our society and our schools.  Also that those in power need to open their ears, minds, and hearts in order to listen to the view points of others who can help successfully educate ALL our children.  She seems to want to express how differently children of color or other cultures learn and at the same time let the readers know that those who are in a position to help are being "silenced".  I think the main problem stressed is the problem of communicating across cultures and in addressing the more fundamental issue of power, of whose voice gets to be heard in determining what is best for poor children and children of color".  Everyone shuld be heard when it has to do with educating children.  We all need to look inside ourselves even if we don't like what we see in order to fix the problem.  Lastly, students who are poor or of color have not been exposed to or taught the rules of "the power of culture" and when in the classroom teachers need to teach these rules explicitly to those students to level the playing field.  Teachers must speak clearly and explicitly so tha ALL students understand. We've got to remember how different races etc. view authority and many other aspects that would effect teaching and learning.

I have to be honest in saying when I first began to read this article I was "taken back" by the first three statements from educators of color.  I was not sure what the tone of the article was going to be like.  At first, I felt like I was being placed in a stereotypical group of white educators who DON'T LISTEN or shall I say "HEAR" what educators of color are trying to say. I felt attacked by their comments and wanted to tell them that not all white educators treat people like that.  Feeling that way got me thinking about how they must of felt experiencing what they did and being treated in the way that they were.  They were doing exactly what the white educators were doing which was placing them in a particular category based on their race with neither side knowing what the other person is about, what they feel, stand for, or what they have to offer professionally.  I of course realize now that is NOT what they were doing.  What they were doing was responded to their personal experiences.  To quote Delpit, " How can such communication blocks exist when both parties truly believe they have the same aims?"  She is right in saying someone is not hearing the other and it definitely has got to change if we are going to work together to educate children from all cultures.  I completely agree that their is a "culture of power" and it exists in our schools and classrooms.  After reading this article I understood how much control and power the white-middle/upper class holds.  What I am not sure about is how to change those beliefs so many hold and that are so embedded into most of our societies way of thinking.  We have a big job ahead of us.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

All About Me

My name is Nina and this is the first time I have ever "blogged".  I am a Kindergarten teacher in North Providence and I love every minute of it.  This is the last class I need to complete my Masters in Special Education.  I have been married for 14 years and I am the mother of 3 boys and a crazy dog.  On my spare time I like to.........Oh yeah I don't usually have any spare time but my favorite thing to do is spend time with my family.  I hope to get a lot of insight from my Foundations 502 class so I can share it with my colleagues.

My First Blog

This is my first "Web Blog" for Foundations of Ed 502....Class #1 going well except for my lack of understanding in "blogging"