Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People's Children

Lisa Delpit's article which addressed cultural conflict in the classroom raised my awareness to the extend in which issues exist between educators, white students and students of color.  To be honest, I never actually considered many of the points she brought up.  Perhaps, this is due to my ignorance and lack of exposure, considering the fact that I teach in a middle class school where the majority of the students are white. I was actually taken back that in today's society there are so many issues regarding education between two commonly populated cultures.  Delpit raises the question, "How can such communication blocks exist when both parties truly believe they have the same aims"? Delpit suggests that to work toward a solution regarding these issues, people need to identify and give voice to alternative worldviews. She suggests that the issues exist due to, "the culture of power".  The five aspects of the culture of power identify the specific concerns which are prevalent in terms of education amongst white people and people of color.  The major concern here is families want their children to have the same education and opportunities but the dilemma is how can this be achieved when both parties have  such strong opinions and distinct view points.  It really comes down to society as a whole has to move away from the norm and historical ways of doing things and embrace change which, will be a more suitable approach that will take into consideration the diversity between cultures. 
Some points that I found interesting in this article where, the way in which black students view white teachers, the views in the educational system regarding students of color versus white students that struggle, and the vast differences between the same spoken language. I found the interview between the teacher and the student eye opening.  Who determines what dialect is correct?  Will students of color have a better experience with literature if it was written the way in which they speak and about things relevant to their culture/community?  A point, I never though about but something that really should be considered.  As teachers, we need to be proactive in educating our students and strive to be aware of individual challenges whether it involves culture, gender, disabilities, etc.  This quote sums up the issues concerning cultural conflict in the classroom, " The dilemma is not really in the debate over instructional
methodology, but rather in 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".

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Bit About Me!


I am a first time blogger and am not very computer savy....I am working on it though! I am a Special Education Teacher in Warwick and I currently work with preschool children who have Autism.  I am in the Masters Program in Severe Profound Disabilities.  My life is busy and full!  I am a mom to two awesome children...Samantha age 9 and Benjamin age 7!  I love the sun and can't wait to spend a day at the beach!! I do work a few weeks in the summer but have many weeks to enjoy!  I am looking forward to spending a week at the beach this year!  I love music, the outdoors, a good glass of wine, and going to church!  My relationship with God is a huge part of my life!!