Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom

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9781565841796: Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom

By the year 2000, nearly 40 percent of the children in America's classrooms will be African American, Hispanic, Asian American, or Native American, yet most of those children's teachers will be white. In a radical and piercing analysis of what is going on in American classrooms today, MacArthur Award-winning author Lisa Delpit suggests that many of the academic problems attributed to children of color are actually the result of miscommunication as schools and "other people's children" struggle with the imbalance of power and the dynamics of inequality plaguing our system. Winner of Choice Magazine's Outstanding Academic Book Award, the American Education Studies Association Critics' Choice Award, and one of Teacher Magazine's Great Books of 1995. Delpit is also a contributor to Racism Explained to My Daughter (New Press: June 1999).

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From Publishers Weekly:

Children of color, as well as poor children?"other people's children"?are often victimized by school administrators and others who see "damaged and dangerous caricatures" instead of able youngsters who are capable of learning in a mainstream setting. This is the observation of Delpit, who has used her varied experience in schools from New Guinea to Alaska to better understand and resolve cultural clashes in American classrooms. In the provocative essays collected here, Delpit unfolds her views on teaching African American children, based on professional research and her own experience of school as an alien environment. Defining the goal of educators as celebration, not merely toleration, of diversity in the classroom, Delpit illustrates ways that teachers, including African Americans, can build on students' home cultures to help prepare them for life after school. The author's vision of alternative perspectives should stimulate rethinking the complexities of multicultural inclusiveness. Delpit is Benjamin E. Mays Chair of Urban Educational Leadership at Georgia State Univ.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review:

A godsend. . . honest and fair, yet visionary and firm. -- Quarterly Black Review

Here, finally, is multiculturalism with a human face. -- Teacher Magazine

Phenomenal. . . Reading it feels like a breath of fresh air in an increasingly polluted world. Without works like this, those of us who are struggling to change our schools (as well as our society) would be unable to breathe. -- San Francisco Review of Books

[Delpit] is a keen student of the way that ideas and practices take on new meanings in cultural contexts, including the context of unequal power. -- The Nation

[Other People's Children] provides an important, yet typically avoided, discussion of how power imbalances in the larger U.S. society reverberate in classrooms. -- Harvard Educational Review

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