National Institute for Urban School Improvement
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part of the Education Reform Networks

Other people's children: Cultural conflict in the classroom.

This collection of nine essays suggests that many academic problems attributed to children of color actually stem from a power structure in which the worldviews of those with privilege are taken as the only reality, while the worldviews and culture of those less powerful are dismissed as inconsequential or deficient.

  • Author/Creator: Delpit, L.
  • Author's address: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 500 Fifth Ave. New York, NY 10110
  • Notes: Comments: Delpit offers a very useful perspective on one of the dimensions of failure many nonwhite urban students experience. It’s an especially useful analysis for white teachers working in classrooms with large numbers of students from other cultures. Her examples are helpful for helping teachers to see ways to (1) respect and accommodate a student’s different cultural norms while blending together the need to teach both skills and processes. I especially liked her way of reframing our failure judgments about poor and culturally different students-inevitably based on dominant cultural practices and assumptions-into misunderstandings about students’ real cultural competence and capacity within their own context. Her analysis of the various language codes at play in many classrooms will be recognizable to many school personnel. This is not a book of strategies, but Delpit’s examples and analyses will quickly lead many readers to ideas for action.
  • Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc.
  • Year: 1995

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