Our Honeymoon 9-17-10

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Silenced Dialogue: Power & Pedagogy in Educating other People's Children (argument talking points)

                                                                                    Lisa Delpit

         I wasn't sure at first whether I wanted to quote Delpits words, make connections, hyperlink what I found, or the argument of her writing. In my writing, I used several different approaches, but I focused on the authors argument. The authors argument is so powerful that she had me tossed between how I felt about this matter. This author, Lisa Delpit, argues that white people just don't understand people of color. She said,  "When you're talking to white people they still want it to be their way. They listen, but they just don't hear. It becomes futile because they think they know everything about everybody. They don't really want to hear what you have to say. They wear blinders and earplugs."
         I did have to take a step back while reading Delpit's article and take her writing lightly. I had to really think about what she was trying to prove and bring to the table. It seems like she is a very dedicated person who just wants white people to understand people of color and what would be best in teaching children of color, but at times I felt like she was pointing the finger at the "white race/people".  It could have been the wording she used. I understand her point of view and some of the points she brought up through her article. Thinking about her points, the stories she has encountered, and her five aspects of power, I try to understand that there are white people who are rascist and there are white people who just may not be aware of the language they are using or not using. In one way or another everyone is rascist, even people of color. As a teacher and a white middle class women , I am becoming aware of these issues. I became more aware of social issues at Rhode Island College while taking my education classes. I know I am trying to make these issues less controversial in my classroom, and I am one less teacher who is trying. I am more opened to discussing the different cultures of students in my classroom and the usage of terminology that other teachers may not feel comfortable using. Racisim will always be an issue. It has been better, but I can't see it ever going away.  So it must start in our classrooms. That's where people can make a difference.
             I like Delpits five aspects of power. She calls them, "the culture of power."  For the first one, "Issues of power in the classrooms" is honestly true. It is the power of the textbook, the curriculum, and the teacher. Teachers have the power over students. For her second, "There are codes or rules for particpating in power, "culture of power." It's about how we talk, how we write things, how we dress, and how we interact with our students. What we say to our students is so crucial and meaningful. They are like sponges and what we say and how we say it can be a leading factor to causing racisim or not. How we write things is so important as well, so that's when we need to remember the different cultures in the classroom and use it, but use it in the right way. Delpit's third point, "The rules of culture of power are a reflection of the rules of the culture of those who have power," was something that I knew, but I guess I didn't admit it. Delpit says that children who are not in the middle or higher class do not have the same success rate of children who are. Thinking back to Johnson's article, it's a combination of poverty and race. I agree with both points, also environmental factors as well. You do see a better success in education and in work places with white middle to upper class people. In her fourth statement, "Particpate in culture of power, why can't people just say what they mean." I think people are so careful because they don't want any hard feelings and they don't want there to be more problems. I do think about how I say things to my students, especially if it is a senstive subject about culture or rascism, but any teacher should be careful to how they word things. That's Delpits second point.  Lastly, "Those with power are frequently least aware of and least willing to acknowledge of it's existence." I thought about this point and it's sadly true. I never thought of myself as having "power", but I wasn't aware of the amount of power white people actually had. I think about her point about the earplugs and blinders. I guess in my argument, it just wasn't brought up from people of color. It would be a great experience to have a conversation with people who think that racism is a big problem because of white people. I would just like to hear what they have to say, but in person. It's just difficult to say that I understand when I haven't had this type of conversation. It's almost like, if you don't hear or see it, then it can't actaully exist. Maybe this could be a class experience with Rhode Island College students? I'm sure I am not the only teacher who says that they know it's a problem, but they actually haven't heard it from another teacher, co-worker, friend, or college student.  
         Overall, this was a great article to read. I like to hear about these issues, so I as a teacher can try to help to create a better education for all students. I am looking forward to the next article.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hyperlinks-Privilege, Power, and Difference

"For all our potential, you'd think we could manage to get along with one another."

          Reading Chapter 2, We're in Trouble, caught my eye. It is unbelievable to me that we are so capable of so many accomplishments that we just can't get along with each other. We can't get along with others in our own race, religion, class, gender, etc. The author was saying how people can be so creative, generous, and loving. Also, that people can take in the strange and unfamiliar and learn to understand and embrace it, but we just can't "get along."  That is something that Rodney King also stated after he was beaten from police officers in Los Angeles. The author said it is as easy as treating each other with respect.  I often look at the whole picture of the world and everyone around me. “If it could only be that simple”, is what I say! It is heart breaking to see the crime in the US, the hatred people have against each other, and the bullying right next door to your classroom. This matter isn’t getting any better, so the only thing I can do is to just teach this to my own students.   
       As an Early Childhood teacher, I try to teach these types of lessons to my student’s everyday, whether it’s through play, songs, story books, or actual disputes between students. I believe the smallest lesson counts. Bullying is a big factor in Rhode Island and if we can start with young children, then maybe we can teach them that its okay to "get along". As a teacher, I always have books on hand that teach about bullying or learning to get along with each other even though they are different from you. (Which I'm sure most of you do!) It's important that students understand each other. A great way to do this is by having a Celebration through Cultural Diversity in your classroom by encouraging families to volunteer their time to speak to the class, prepare certain types of foods, learn a language, and understand what traditions they follow. In doing this you would hope that the children in your class can just simply "get along".

 I attached a link below showing some great books to use to discuss bullying matters with young children.

Bullying-Children's Books:
Multicultural Children's Literature:

Australian-Teen Hero
*This was a big topic not to long ago. So I wanted to link this site just so we can remember how bullying affects everyone in the world.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Hi Everyone!

     My name is Stacey, and I am attending Rhode Island College to get my masters in Early Childhood Special Education. I graduated in 2006, and I decided to go back to school! Since I graduated, I have been a pre-Kindergarten teacher at Harmony Childcare for my sisiter's buisness. I started substituting 3 years ago in Warwick at Drum Rock Early Childhood Center in the preschool special education program for 5 months. This year I was interviewed for a long term position in Kindergarten in West Warwick, and I started the job in March. Working with young children helped me choose my career path. That is why I am back at RIC! 
     If I am not teaching I am tutoring at night or working at a group home in Foster. Also, I am the softball captain for a North Smithfield Women's League once a week. Also, my husband sings in a band, so I like to attend his shows on the weekend. My day off!