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Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012


    Truly a masterpiece on the other side of the looking glass of education. This work is insightful and inspiring. It reads smoothly and keeps you hooked from one page to the next, but more importantly, it sheds light on some very crucial and ignored issues on education today. Any educator who reads even a few pages from this book will find their teaching enriched. If you think you know all there is to know on teaching in a culturally diverse classroom, this book will show you how limited your perspective really is. Furthermore, it will help you on your way to truly give appropriate instruction in the best way fore each child.

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  • Posted October 7, 2009

    Review of Other People's Children by Delpit

    Other People's Children by Lisa Delpit is a book that any prospective teacher should keep on their bookshelves. It is the perfect reference when a teacher needs to handle all types of teaching situations from students with diverse languages to dealing with cultural differences. The last chapter in particular entitles "Education in a Multicultural Society" pinpoints the main problems in educating multicultural students. Delpit presents her arguments in a ruthless way, that does not sugarcoat anything for the prospective teachers reading her experiences and accounts.
    In her final chapter she begins a section stating, "We say we believe that all children can learn, but few of us really believe it." Delpit says what all of the other authors are scared to point out about how we educate our children. The problems we have in education today are mostly present because people are scared to talk about them and actually point out the flaws. Delpit points out what is wrong with our ways of educating numerous times throughout the book, and multiple times in this last chapter. Delpit is trying to make the point and be the person who "calls out" the educational system in hopes of getting some positive responses or changes from it. She not only points out problems education has but also presents solutions or explanations for her problems.
    By reading just the last chapter of this book, prospective teachers learn to deal with language diversity barriers, stereotyping, and educating poor and culturally diverse children. In just one chapter she explains why these problems persist in the educational system. Then she gives and account of her own experiences with such situations. For example, in her section of the last chapter about stereotyping, Delpit offers examples of the many stereotypes a teacher may run into in the classroom. She explains the stereotype for Asian-American students is "the 'perfect' students, that they will do well regardless of the academic setting in which they are placed."(Delpit 170). Then she goes into explaining how this stereotype can negatively effect these students and gives a personal experience with students of this stereotype. Delpit does more than other authors that try to explain how to educate children. She presents her opinions and arguments then backs them up with outstanding personal accounts and suggestions for change.
    I would highly recommend this book to any prospective teacher who wanted to get a real look at what the job would take. I would also recommend this to anyone considering the possibility of becoming a teacher. Many people go into this career not really knowing what to expect or how they will have to handle certain situations they are placed in. Delpit's book is a great eye opener to the types of problems that will arise in any classroom, especially those that are diverse in multiple ways. She offers her information clean cut and straightforward, giving the real story to those who read her novel. It has prepared me beyond what I expected from a book, and I feel it would do the same to other prospective teachers looking for the real answers

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  • Posted October 1, 2009

    This is a great book!!!

    Lisa Delpits book, Other People's Children, is a wonderful collection of different stories, experiences, and trials that teachers experience with their children in a teaching career. Delpit exposes the different problems that are present within the education field. One of which is the continued stress on end of grade testing. In one extreme example, Delpit tells the story of an old man laying on his death bed saying that his only regret in life is that he did not do better on his tests in his education career. Another story that Delpit integrates in her lessons has to do with a concentration camp survivor who writes a letter to a teacher. The survivor tells the teacher how he is skeptical of education because he does not understand how people with a college degree could kill so many people at a commands notice. This raises an interesting question for an educator, how can what you are teaching be taken the wrong way and what do you do to avoid this. Delpit also discusses race differences between white educators and black students. In a dialogue between a teacher and a young boy named Joey, the young boy states that "maybe they ought to come up with another kind of.maybe Black English or something." This is not the way a young child should be thinking. This makes him conscious about his language and who he is, where teachers should just be praising him for what he does correct, not discouraging what he does wrong. There are bigger issues than how someone speaks; so long as they know the correct way to speak. My favorite chapter in the book is Education in a Multicultural Society: Our Future's Greatest Challenge. Delpit states that there are two types of culture clashes and three types of teachers, "black teachers, none of whom are afraid of the black kids; the white teachers, a few of whom are not afraid of black kids; and the largest group of white teachers, who are all afraid of black kids." This is a sad truth that young children face this always, stereotyping. Delpit does a fantastic job describing the many different types of stereotypes that African-American children face with their teachers. Overall I would recommend this novel to any student who is considering going into secondary education. The reader will become educated in real problems that we face in today's classrooms with issues such as race.

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  • Posted October 1, 2009

    Leaving a Lasting Impression

    When you think about school, what comes to mind? Perhaps you see a child-like version of yourself in a classroom that you enjoy and feel valued in. Or maybe, you find yourself being swallowed by repressed memories that put you in a period of your life where you felt empty and misunderstood showing the lasting scars that remain after an unfulfilling education. While unimaginable for many of us, the second description is a sad reality that shows how our educational system fails to teach all children equitably. But how can this be!? How can one of the world's most powerful nations be letting its' citizens down in regards to education?
    Lisa Delpit's Other People's Children answers these complex questions with remarkable ease, especially in regards to the problems that minority students face. This ground-breaking book encourages readers to view education, pedagogy and consequently society as a whole, in a totally innovative way. Deplit's passionate and realistic account of the unheard voices of minority student's needs in American schools exposes the quintessential flaws that are currently plaguing the field of education, which are critical for future educators to understand and repair. Delpit provides a rational and pragmatic voice for this generation of parents and students that have been continually misunderstood and overlooked by the "culture of power" that dominates our society's educational decisions. By exposing these short-comings, Lisa Delpit prolifically shows that forging new educational ideologies in regards to minority students is the essential first step for closing the gaps that have been perpetually getting wider in our schools, which is precisely why this book is the perfect read for advocates of reformed education, perspective educators, and current teachers alike.
    A particular chapter that left a lasting impression on me was "Language Diversity and Learning." This chapter discussed the tendency of teachers to continually correct students on the "form" of speech that they use. This is most prominent in reading instruction, as teachers focus on form rather than function. For example, Delpit gives the example of young girl pronouncing the word "brother" as "bruver". The teacher ignored the fact that the child understood the material and focused on negatively intervening to criticize the child's dialect because of the way she had learned to speak at home, which makes the child question her own ability. These constant corrections can cause emotional trauma and leave students feeling empty and under-valued, like the student that I mentioned in my introduction. This case alone opened my eyes, Delpit incorporates countless other experiences, situations, and studies that conclude similar findings- which will forever change the way you view education no matter who you are.

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  • Posted October 1, 2009

    A book that should be made into a documentary

    Brilliantly written for the prospective educator; Lisa Delpit delves into the inner sanctums of that which makes a diverse teacher. She has knowledge of firsthand accounts of our recent history as Americans. History of the good and the bad will be blasted about these pages so that you, the reader, can reveal internally to the real person in the mirror. This book makes you look yourself up and down, inside and out.

    The issues in her book come to life with real narratives, quotes and connections that will be brought forth within the reader. Lisa Delpit's book will compose a symphony, not any symphony, but it will be your own by the inspiration of the book. It is a symphony that will resonate into your style, way of life and pedagogy. It will shine light on the blinded conscience and awaken, perhaps, a new beginning.

    You will find answers to problems faced by diversity; some problems that you may not know existed. Answers to provocative questions such as what Lisa Delpit asks, "Why do the refrains of progressive educational movements seem to be lacking in the diverse harmonies, the variegated rhythms, and the shades of tone expected in a truly heterogeneous chorus?". Wrapping our minds around such questions will certainly expose us to ourselves as individuals and ponder about our law makers decisions.

    I highly recommend that students who wish to pursue education should read this compelling book. If you wish to make a difference in all of your students' lives it is imperative to understand beyond understanding, which this book helps you realize.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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