Monday, February 10, 2014

Other People's Children: The Silenced Dialogue Reflection

I have to be honest, this was definitely a tough read for me. Although, I did extract a few great points and messages from the text. Lisa Delpit discusses how race and social class affect the communication in schools with teachers, students and parents. Communication is definitely the most valuable tool in education and is vital to a child's learning. I tied the text together with the reading Privilege by Peggy McIntosh. White privileged America (middle and upper class) benefit from the "culture of power" and with the type of communication within classrooms. I realized in the school I visited today that more than 50% of the students were a different race other than white. However, every single teacher in the school was white. Could black, Hispanic and Latino students listen and learn more effectively from a teacher of their own race? I definitely think they could.

"Children have the right to their own language, their own culture. We must fight cultural hegemony and fight the system by insisting that children be allowed to express themselves in their own language style. It is not they, the children, who must change, but the schools. To push children to do anything else is repressive and reactionary."

This quote stood out to me the most in the reading. It made me feel like someone was taking a stand on what was right. (Hegemony was a great word to use also). Most of my life I have been expressing myself through my music. This is why I strongly agree with this quote. Children also need a good understanding of how they learn best. Classrooms have always been very regimented and lesson plans or curriculum are based off of a cookie cutter mold of a student that they expect every child to be. Now that many children are able to express themselves freely- for the most part- the education system needs to step up and act the same way. Just like the word repressive says; we are "restraining the freedom of a group of people" by holding them back from being themselves and learning the way they need to learn.

I know that most of this readings sole purpose was to discuss the element of race and education. However, we need to start looking past the difference of race and joining as a group of human beings that we are. I came across a quote from Benjamin Carson that would definitely tie up the discussion of this article pretty well.

"You know, I was asked once by an NPR reporter why I don't talk about race that often. And I said it's because I'm a neurosurgeon. And she looked at me quite quizzically. And I said, 'You see, when I take someone to the operating room and I peel down the scalp and take off the bone flap and open the dura, I'm operating on the thing that makes the person who they are.' The cover doesn't make them who they are. When are we going to understand that?"
-Benjamin Carson



  1. Hey Shannon! I too found this to be a really difficult read so don't worry you're never alone!! I really liked the quotes you pulled out and that you relate it to your connection with music! I have such a great love for music too and it was really cool to see you connect to this text in that way. You did a really good job :)

  2. Hey Shannon, thanks for popping up on my blog! I too am a huge lover of music, and am also frustrated by realities. We've got a tough job ahead with "no child left behind", and so far this reading was the best for giving us something concrete to work towards. Don't deny your culture, but be in charge of your opportunities. That will be the best way we can help future generations. And thanks for making me feel so welcome!