web site hit counter "Multiplication Is for White People": Raising Expectations for Other People's Children - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

"Multiplication Is for White People": Raising Expectations for Other People's Children

Availability: Ready to download

As MacArthur award-winning educator Lisa Delpit reminds us—and as all research shows—there is no achievement gap at birth. In her long-awaited second book, Delpit presents a striking picture of the elements of contemporary public education that conspire against the prospects for poor children of color, creating a persistent gap in achievement during the school years that h As MacArthur award-winning educator Lisa Delpit reminds us—and as all research shows—there is no achievement gap at birth. In her long-awaited second book, Delpit presents a striking picture of the elements of contemporary public education that conspire against the prospects for poor children of color, creating a persistent gap in achievement during the school years that has eluded several decades of reform. Delpit's bestselling and paradigm-shifting first book, Other People's Children, focused on cultural slippage in the classroom between white teachers and students of color. Now, in "Multiplication is for White People", Delpit reflects on two decades of reform efforts—including No Child Left Behind, standardized testing, the creation of alternative teacher certification paths, and the charter school movement—that have still left a generation of poor children of color feeling that higher educational achievement isn't for them. In chapters covering primary, middle, and high school, as well as college, Delpit concludes that it's not that difficult to explain the persistence of the achievement gap. In her wonderful trademark style, punctuated with telling classroom anecdotes and informed by time spent at dozens of schools across the country, Delpit outlines an inspiring and uplifting blueprint for raising expectations for other people's children, based on the simple premise that multiplication—and every aspect of advanced education—is for everyone.


Compare

As MacArthur award-winning educator Lisa Delpit reminds us—and as all research shows—there is no achievement gap at birth. In her long-awaited second book, Delpit presents a striking picture of the elements of contemporary public education that conspire against the prospects for poor children of color, creating a persistent gap in achievement during the school years that h As MacArthur award-winning educator Lisa Delpit reminds us—and as all research shows—there is no achievement gap at birth. In her long-awaited second book, Delpit presents a striking picture of the elements of contemporary public education that conspire against the prospects for poor children of color, creating a persistent gap in achievement during the school years that has eluded several decades of reform. Delpit's bestselling and paradigm-shifting first book, Other People's Children, focused on cultural slippage in the classroom between white teachers and students of color. Now, in "Multiplication is for White People", Delpit reflects on two decades of reform efforts—including No Child Left Behind, standardized testing, the creation of alternative teacher certification paths, and the charter school movement—that have still left a generation of poor children of color feeling that higher educational achievement isn't for them. In chapters covering primary, middle, and high school, as well as college, Delpit concludes that it's not that difficult to explain the persistence of the achievement gap. In her wonderful trademark style, punctuated with telling classroom anecdotes and informed by time spent at dozens of schools across the country, Delpit outlines an inspiring and uplifting blueprint for raising expectations for other people's children, based on the simple premise that multiplication—and every aspect of advanced education—is for everyone.

30 review for "Multiplication Is for White People": Raising Expectations for Other People's Children

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    Well, this is a pisser. To be clear: Delpit is a strong writer covering a topic that's sure to enrage almost everyone: that is, public education in the US. The short version is vast amounts of money from the Gates and Walton foundations (among other sources) haven't helped, except to divert energy and money away from public schools. No Child Left Behind hasn't helped, except to divert billions away from any actual education and into private companies producing the loathed tests and test-prep mat Well, this is a pisser. To be clear: Delpit is a strong writer covering a topic that's sure to enrage almost everyone: that is, public education in the US. The short version is vast amounts of money from the Gates and Walton foundations (among other sources) haven't helped, except to divert energy and money away from public schools. No Child Left Behind hasn't helped, except to divert billions away from any actual education and into private companies producing the loathed tests and test-prep materials (if I recall correctly, one of the Bush sons is in this racket, although that isn't covered in this book). State efforts to bust unions, depress wages, and transfer employment from career teachers to the well-meaning but inexperienced Teach For America volunteers who mostly quit after their very short (two year) commitment. Most surprising thing I learned: desegregation of public schools meant that experienced teachers of color got fired in favor of inexperienced white teachers in a huge way, and pretty much every reform effort since then has shown the same pattern. Although the system is a boondoggle, there are still teachers and schools that do manage to teach, but students of color and poor students are getting the worst education. Since 2010 far my state has spent more than $144 million implementing the Common Core standards, and the state legislature has decided they don't like it, and it needs to be changed. Gee, I wonder how much more money they'll spend and to whom they'll give it? What I know is, it isn't going into schools, or teachers, or anything that will actually improve the education of students in this state. Yeah, I'm enraged. Library copy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    I am all over the place on Lisa Delpit’s latest book on educating “poor black children,” probably because Delpit is a little all over the place. She makes a plethora of excellent points, but in a fashion that is overly wordy (I know, pot calling the kettle black here; wait, I didn’t mean it that way!), puzzlingly organized, and admittedly angry (“I am left in my more cynical moments with the thought that poor black children have become the vehicle by which rich white people give money to their f I am all over the place on Lisa Delpit’s latest book on educating “poor black children,” probably because Delpit is a little all over the place. She makes a plethora of excellent points, but in a fashion that is overly wordy (I know, pot calling the kettle black here; wait, I didn’t mean it that way!), puzzlingly organized, and admittedly angry (“I am left in my more cynical moments with the thought that poor black children have become the vehicle by which rich white people give money to their friends.”). I found myself craving ease, warmth, and humor. Of course, I also found myself nodding along with frequency and learning a great deal about a subject of serious urgency. After giving my mixed feelings extensive thought, I decided that much of the problem is that Delpit’s book isn’t a well-reasoned opening salvo, it’s a passionate refutation. She responds to those who say African American students disproportionately fail in school because they just aren’t as smart as children of other races and come from “a culture of poverty” (and that those who succeed do so only because of unmeritocratic affirmative action). No wonder she’s pissed. OF COURSE African American students are just as “gifted and brilliant” as everyone else (as Delpit ably demonstrates). But even educators who accept racial equality expect less of poor and minority students because of their supposed cultural deficiency. Delpit spends the bulk of the book tackling this point. Essentially, she says that “poor black children . . . [have] a culture of richness” that gives them NOT FEWER, BUT DIFFERENT skills (“a maturity in problem solving, an ability to do what is needed in difficult situations, [and] an understanding of real-world problems” but not necessarily the ability to refer to a canoe as “canoe” rather than “boat”). But the schools as currently structured (and the high-stakes tests) do not recognize these strengths or the deficits of middle-class culture (since “[o]ne’s own culture is to humans as water is to a fish – we are completely unaware of our culture until we are taken out of it”). Along with this external expectation gap comes an internal expectation gap of sorts, in the form of poor African American children’s “‘disidentification’ with school” and “stereotype threat” (i.e., the detrimental anxiety that comes with being in a position to confirm a negative stereotype). The problem with lowered expectations for academic achievement is that they are self-fulfilling prophecies. Delpit proffers as the key to raising the expectations of both educators and students “a consciously devised, continuous program that develops [academic skills] in the context of real experiences, provides rigorous instruction, [and] connects new information to the [interests and] cultural frameworks that children bring to school,” with a side of character education (including “ritually express[ed] expectations for hard work and academic, social, physical, and moral excellence”), discussion of “African Americans’ intellectual legacy [and] position in a racialized society,” and confirmation that “it is [certain] skills, and not intelligence, that the[se students] lack.” When all is said and done, students should “feel welcomed into the school environment” and challenged (“You cannot value students as intellectual beings without being willing to challenge them, and if they don’t feel valued, they will resist being challenged.”). Delpit also sprinkles throughout the book plain ol’ good teaching ideas that apply to all but are much more important for children who are, in a cruel twist of fate, both educationally disengaged and “school dependent” (“while children from more privileged backgrounds can manage to perform well . . . in spite of poor teachers, children who are not a part of the mainstream are dependent upon schools to teach them whatever they need to know to be successful”). She asks, “[w]hat if we developed a history curriculum that ushered in each era with a focus on a love affair.” If you’ve ever taught teenagers, you know this idea is pure genius. I’ll also drink to (1) the importance of “[w]arm demanders” as teachers (those who “expect a great deal of their students . . . and help them to reach their potential in a disciplined and structured [yet caring and accepting] environment”), (2) the idea of special education for all kids where “‘special’ [means] . . . specifically designed to discover the strengths and accommodate the needs of each child,” and (3) the “creat[ion of] alternative reasons for [academic] success other than ‘getting a good job.’” Finally, as a former English teacher in a school with a 98% African American and majority free-lunch-qualified student population who was roundly criticized for setting aside class time for reading (and minimizing homework) in order to render participatory discussion possible, I feel downright vindicated by Delpit’s take on reading and homework (“The consensus of researchers and practitioners is that spending time reading, discussing, and writing about text in class allows students to become crucially literate. Too often teachers assign readings for homework, while at the same time complaining that low-performing students don’t do homework!”). All of the strategies discussed above can be employed by quality educators of any race. Delpit, however, goes further criticizing the Teach for America program as “‘providing low-income schools with tourists rather than teachers’” and failing to provide the mostly white teachers it sends into mostly minority schools with the “humility [and] tutelage of people who look like the children they want to teach [necessary to] learn to connect with the children they want to reach.” Here I am of two minds, yes, the kids I taught and others like them would have been better off if I’d stayed for more than a year, but no, they would not have been better off without me, stuck spending a crucial year with rotating subs, the alcoholic veteran teacher who could no longer stand up straight (let alone put together rational sentences), the man who read the newspaper all day at the head of a state-of-the-art chemistry lab, and the other very real alternatives to my teaching. Also, while I agree that “[a] lack of knowledge and understanding of students’ out-of-school experiences severely limit[s] a teacher,” Delpit overlooks a primary source of a teacher’s cultural education: her students. A white upper-class teacher can make a basic connection with students without a common cultural language, and quickly deepen it by listening and learning. I think mentorship is a fabulous idea, but I don’t believe that it’s so essential that Teach for America teachers can’t contribute in a positive way without it. I also am not sure about the following claim: “One consistent but often ignored aspect of African American learning styles has to do with whether teaching begins with the big picture and works down to the details, or whether it begins with subskills and works up to the global. Traditional teaching favors the latter – first you learn the pieces, then you put them together to form the whole. African Americans tend toward the former. Students often want the big ideas, the big story, first. They want the ‘back story’ of whatever is being studied . . . .” Really? I guess I just need to invite Delpit and her folders of research over to dinner to convince me there’s race at play here. I always contextualized first and then got down to the details. I was under the impression that orienting learning in the big picture was just good teaching. Do African Americans really learn differently, or do kids who “identify” with school just have a greater tolerance for poor teaching? Delpit’s book clearly brings something to the table (well, the library shelf) including valuable ruminations on “microaggressions” and the minority experience of higher education (“Invisibility inside the classroom, hypervisibility outside the classroom.”). But it’s not a page-turner, and it’s not a feel good call to action. If you’re an education policy wonk or a teacher who works with poor minority students, read it. If you’re not, there are more enjoyable ways to study these issues (like Pedro Noguera’s clearer, more inspirational writing).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Miste

    Very interesting book on teaching African American children in general (not just math). There were lots of things in it that made me think. I actually tore the post-its I was using to mark pages into smaller & smaller pieces so I could mark more pages (no I didn't get more--just lazy I guess). I am not a teacher, but I do work in a school and it really made me think about how I respond to children of color based on my own world view and how an can change that based on what I learned from this bo Very interesting book on teaching African American children in general (not just math). There were lots of things in it that made me think. I actually tore the post-its I was using to mark pages into smaller & smaller pieces so I could mark more pages (no I didn't get more--just lazy I guess). I am not a teacher, but I do work in a school and it really made me think about how I respond to children of color based on my own world view and how an can change that based on what I learned from this book. Since I am involved with scheduling in the school it also made me think about some of the classes and what we call them and how that impacts the way children (of any color) would feel about them. The frustrating thing about it all is that so much of what could make a difference for any student is good teachers. That's all well & good if all teachers were good and it was easy to get rid of the bad ones. Sadly, you often have to make-do with what you have and put the bad teachers where they will do the least damage! If only it were easy to only have good teachers! Regardless this is a must read for anyone who teaches or works with children of color!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    Much food for thought. When I have a class full of students, I have a class full of different life experiences and “worldviews” that impact student behavior, learning, social interaction. If I’m only considering MY worldview in my classroom, how can my students get what they need?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ceci - csquaredreads

    And so, to my students who are teachers, and to all teachers, I reiterate: Your work does matter more than you can imagine. Your students, particularly if they are low-income children of color, cannot succeed without you. You are their lifeline to a better future…"a future we could not even imagine for ourselves." There are lots of important, valuable hits in this book, but also some major misses. I think it’s worth the read for educators, but I do think a better text that relies the same message And so, to my students who are teachers, and to all teachers, I reiterate: Your work does matter more than you can imagine. Your students, particularly if they are low-income children of color, cannot succeed without you. You are their lifeline to a better future…"a future we could not even imagine for ourselves." There are lots of important, valuable hits in this book, but also some major misses. I think it’s worth the read for educators, but I do think a better text that relies the same message in a more effective way is Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, by Zaretta Hammond. I’d start with Hammond’s text and read this one as an additional one. ...we teachers must take up the cause of those children who are often dismissed by the system. That means never giving up on them; refusing to accept failure; being their advocates and pushing them and the systems that block their success. It also means having the courage to find like-minded people - on faculties, in the community, wherever they may be - and joining together to do this difficult work. One person cannot change the world alone. We all have to step out of our personal comfort zones, to create courageous, united efforts.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    After two recommendations from very different kinds of educators, I pulled this to the top of the TBR list. I read it, annotating and sticky-noting, and was having an internal argument with the author nearly all the way through. But rereading, to collect my thoughts, copy quotes, and organize it in my mind, I find myself agreeing with most. Delpit is a teacher of color...she works with other educators working mostly in poor, urban schools that serve families and students of color. Her book does After two recommendations from very different kinds of educators, I pulled this to the top of the TBR list. I read it, annotating and sticky-noting, and was having an internal argument with the author nearly all the way through. But rereading, to collect my thoughts, copy quotes, and organize it in my mind, I find myself agreeing with most. Delpit is a teacher of color...she works with other educators working mostly in poor, urban schools that serve families and students of color. Her book does not address the schools I found myself in as a teacher...with poor, rural, white families or heterogeneous schools with 'European Americans' (her phrase) students in the majority. I was looking for ways to strengthen my teaching of the invisible minorities in my classes...reaching out respectfully, engaging families appropriately, being demanding and supportive. That's not what this book is about. But in a way, that's exactly what this book is about. Good teaching. Her heroes are teachers of color who use creative curricula and methods in ways that make me wonder how they get away with this creativity and grace...for many of us, reforms have eroded any autonomy and independence. She sent me on research tangents for more information, and more authors and books for my lists. She talks about the Freedom Schools that seem to have had that...freedom...to develop child-centered lessons...her lessons are clear: Believe in Kids, Fight Foolishness, Know the Students, She is a literacy teacher and it shows..she touches on the skills-whole language debate and comes down on my side of that: Yes, please. It's not an either-or...just NOT. "You can't do phonics before children live literature and want to read and write, or it won't make sense." She discusses 'warm demanders" and uses examples of amazing teachers of color who know how to 'talk mean' to kids and get away with it, because their raised voices are interpreted by students and parents as signs of caring...those passages made me squirm as I thought about employing them in the classrooms I lived in...The first time through I missed her, 'this won't work for everyone' warnings. But they are there. She talks about the bedrock of good teaching -- building relationships with students, being respectful of who they are, where they come from. Love the line, "Students don't learn from a teacher as much as for a teacher." Her advice to deal with the disrupters OUTSIDE of class is a lesson I learned the hard way. She discussed the devastating effects of desegregation on African American teachers and administrators, most of whom were highly trained...they systematically lost jobs and positions to less-well-trained, younger, white teachers...that was new information. I tried to follow the citations to find the original research, but haven't gotten there yet. That brought her to TFA, which is dispatched mostly to the communities she loves and cares for...and again, I was nodding in agreement. She highly suggests that young white teachers find mentors who understand the culture of the school and community...but I've heard that TFA discourages their teachers from reaching out to the career teachers in their building. We must find ways to be warm demanders...to hold kids to expectations, to connect to our students and their culture...we need to show the value of the academics we care so deeply about. We need to find ways to make learning relevant...real...respectful. She exhorts us to: Be Courageous, Learn Humility, Look and Listen for WHO IS MISSING. We are educating humans who will take over the world...we need to give them every tool and advantage. And NEVER sell them short

  7. 5 out of 5

    James Townsend

    Okay so this book meanders a lot and covers a lot of ground (which I don't mind but apparently some people took great issue with). It's difficult to easily summarize because of this (but also an easy read because it is very episodic from section to section) The major ideas: * The achievement gap between white and nonwhite children does not exist at birth, it's something that arises in later life (in spite or perhaps even because of[?] how those children are educated) * Along those lines, educatio Okay so this book meanders a lot and covers a lot of ground (which I don't mind but apparently some people took great issue with). It's difficult to easily summarize because of this (but also an easy read because it is very episodic from section to section) The major ideas: * The achievement gap between white and nonwhite children does not exist at birth, it's something that arises in later life (in spite or perhaps even because of[?] how those children are educated) * Along those lines, education, a practice that exists in a larger society, is suffused with that society's values. In America, upper-middle class white values and thinking pervades a good amount of pedagogy due to a history of racism (in-depth discussion of this wrt learning to read) * There are however, many ways to educate. All cultures have a unique approach to pedagogy. Traditional African pedagogy and the teaching practices of historically black institutions from American history provide useful models for educating present-day African-American children because there is still relevant cultural/social overlap. * Similarly, experienced teachers are a sort of window into the culture of their polis and should be paid attention to, especially if they are actually able to reach their students. * Stereotype threat! It's a thing! People will tend to grow into the roles you provide for them, so lets provide meaningful and good roles for students. ly mind it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tia Jones

    As an educator deeply committed to growing in my practice, especially as it pertains to educating Black and Brown students, I often find that books I read cite the same statistics, studies and facts. This was one of the few exceptions. I learned a ton of new information, and grew in my practice as a result. I highly recommend this book to all educators of Black and Brown students.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Wooten-Oby

    Read this book for a class on poverty and children. I enjoyed how Delpit used real life experiences to show how different we are taught to look at ourselves. Great read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Needham

    So much to think about and glad I read it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Worth reading for every educator or parent. Might be too academic in tone for some audiences but I found it thoroughly readable. I can’t wait to read more of her work.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alex Johnson

    Lisa Delpit is a genius and knows what she's talking about. She gives a lot of great actionable strategies, but her points come down to this: know your students, value them, and challenge them. And collaborate with your colleagues and learn from other educators who are succeeding. No need to reinvent the wheel. Highly recommend, especially to white teachers with majority black students. Lisa Delpit is a genius and knows what she's talking about. She gives a lot of great actionable strategies, but her points come down to this: know your students, value them, and challenge them. And collaborate with your colleagues and learn from other educators who are succeeding. No need to reinvent the wheel. Highly recommend, especially to white teachers with majority black students.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    3.5 stars. I have definitely mixed feelings about this book. Consistently throughout the book, the best points and best research were citations of other people's work. As a compilation of research on education and race, it's excellent. I highlighted a lot of points, from the fact that we spend more instructional time on behavior modification in low-income schools (using techniques no one would dare use in middle-class and upper-class schools) and thus it's no surprise there's less learning, to t 3.5 stars. I have definitely mixed feelings about this book. Consistently throughout the book, the best points and best research were citations of other people's work. As a compilation of research on education and race, it's excellent. I highlighted a lot of points, from the fact that we spend more instructional time on behavior modification in low-income schools (using techniques no one would dare use in middle-class and upper-class schools) and thus it's no surprise there's less learning, to the repeated theme of just how important quality educators are. Where she hews closely to a review of the literature, illustrated by stories (usually from other people's books), I found this a valuable resource. Unfortunately Delpit's own contributions are scattered and hit-or-miss. The book starts out with weak arguments, like trying to discredit a huge study about the contributions of language use in the home on children's language development with a single anecdote about her own daughter. Later in the book I understood her point — I think — that educators cannot blame home life for educational gaps, but as an evidence-based parent I found her viewpoint unnecessarily dismissive of the research and directly contrary to my own experience with my son. She also goes off on a rant about mostly white Teach For America teachers displacing African-African teachers in schools. If she'd tied this more closely to research about the importance of racial representation for students, it would have been more compelling, but it was buttressed only by a few anecdotes and completely devoid of any research about the impact on student learning. Sandwiched between chapters on how vital engaged teachers willing to try new practices are, I couldn't quite get on board with her anti-TFA argument. (She also lumps in teachNOLA, which is an entirely different program and, unlike TFA, is geared toward training teachers to stay in the profession long-term, which was one of her main complaints about TFA.) Where she talks about research that applies to all students, she makes a solid case for more involved teaching that I can 100% get beyond. Where she talks about cultural competency and the problem with assessments that assume a particular culture or class background, I was fully on board with her arguments. But where she seemed to be arguing for the importance of segregated schools that focus primarily on African culture — typically backed up with anecdotes and little data — I had a hard time following her. In the chapter on universities where she argues that there is valuable African-American history that can and should be worked into "mainstream" courses (rather than specialized electives), I absolutely agree, but in her discussions on low-income public schools she conflates class and race to the point that you'd think she was arguing that schools in poor, white, rural areas should teach primarily African culture and history! I think there's a lot of valuable information in here, but given the extent to which Delpit cites other authors, I would imagine there are probably other books out there that present the information in a more organized manner and don't go off on tangents that pit single anecdotes against large bodies of research. If I were a classroom teacher, or teaching education majors, I'd look a little harder at other options over this one.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    When I first picked up this book, I thought it would be mostly about what this meant for STEM teachers. After reading her first book, I was more than bought into her second book. The perspective Delpit offers regarding microaggressions as being ever present in our daily interactions with our students was great to read as a teacher and namely as a teacher of color--even to the point of causing me to reflect on my own inherent biases against my students who look like me. None of us are immune and When I first picked up this book, I thought it would be mostly about what this meant for STEM teachers. After reading her first book, I was more than bought into her second book. The perspective Delpit offers regarding microaggressions as being ever present in our daily interactions with our students was great to read as a teacher and namely as a teacher of color--even to the point of causing me to reflect on my own inherent biases against my students who look like me. None of us are immune and the manner in which we propagate the dominant culture of society in our classrooms becomes so much a part of how our students can view as classrooms as microcosms of a larger system of oppression, and we as teachers as agents of the very system we may say we wish to dismantle or fight against. Her referencing her own daughter's experiences being disadvantaged and overlooked was insightful to read this through the lens of a mother and made me think of my often muted voices of parents of my past students who may have shared similar/the same views or thoughts. Then the the seamless nature with which Delpit manages to provide the historical context without it being overly cumbersome--especially in thinking of the aftermath of Brown v. Board of Education at Topeka--added a layer of explanation that is easily reinforced with other writers of similar topics. For example, her point that teachers can and have often overlooked behaviors in white students that are the same as those of their minority (read: Black) counterparts speak to the aforementioned inherent biases often present in educators, especially novice ones. With the passage of Brown v. Board, Delpit addresses what can effectively be considered a blessing and curse of the landmark case. Having a large swath of African-American teachers replaced by White teachers created an immediate and arguably damaging power struggle in the classroom for a society/nation that had yet to fully contend with its own racial struggles elsewhere. Thus, those systems of oppression simply moved to the school in a way that had never been seen before. Even more problematic was, as Delpit describes, these teachers were not necessarily as proficient of instructors as those they replaced, further creating irreversible consequences for a generation of minority students. I high recommend this book for an educator and while one could argue that Delpit's ideas are not entirely original to her work, her perspective as an mother, well-researched educator is invaluable in this work just as in her first one.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shaeley Santiago

    Delpit calls on teachers to hold high expectations for all of their students, to truly listen and learn from students in order to develop the kind of relationship of respect, a "warm demander." She also presents alternatives to the high-stakes, standardized testing that leads to a focus on deficits rather than assets and the absolute importance of teaching students critical thinking. One new topic I learned about from this book about the negative impact of Brown v. Board of Education on the num Delpit calls on teachers to hold high expectations for all of their students, to truly listen and learn from students in order to develop the kind of relationship of respect, a "warm demander." She also presents alternatives to the high-stakes, standardized testing that leads to a focus on deficits rather than assets and the absolute importance of teaching students critical thinking. One new topic I learned about from this book about the negative impact of Brown v. Board of Education on the number of African American teachers and administrators in the U.S. public school system. Delpit explains why temporary programs like Teach for America are insufficient for building connections in marginalized communities. Based on her own work in education and research on successful practices, Delpit gives many tips and suggestions for how teachers can be more effective in their instruction of students from marginalized groups. She stresses the need for collaboration between teachers, universities, and community groups. Ultimately, she leaves us with three lessons: be courageous, learn humility, and look and listen for who is missing.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Kaufman

    Delpit speaks eloquently on the disparities in education that remind educators of our duty to implement culturally responsive teaching and hone in on students' funds of knowledge. This books touches on power dynamics and "helpful teacher programs" that tend to harm students more than benefit them. Personally, I would've appreciated more educator or student anecdotal tales, but a must read for all educators. Delpit speaks eloquently on the disparities in education that remind educators of our duty to implement culturally responsive teaching and hone in on students' funds of knowledge. This books touches on power dynamics and "helpful teacher programs" that tend to harm students more than benefit them. Personally, I would've appreciated more educator or student anecdotal tales, but a must read for all educators.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jaime K

    Despite the title, this book is heavily focused on ELA, particularly in lower to mid-elementary levels. It does not do the book a disservice, but as a secondary math teacher, I was hoping for more math. Still, without the literacy and language acquisition, understanding other vocabulary is difficult. And a lot of what is said is helpful for all classes, particularly teaching in context. I’m constantly trying to help all my students recognize math in their lives, whether they are in pre-algebra o Despite the title, this book is heavily focused on ELA, particularly in lower to mid-elementary levels. It does not do the book a disservice, but as a secondary math teacher, I was hoping for more math. Still, without the literacy and language acquisition, understanding other vocabulary is difficult. And a lot of what is said is helpful for all classes, particularly teaching in context. I’m constantly trying to help all my students recognize math in their lives, whether they are in pre-algebra or in AP calculus. “Thus, educational policy has been virtually hijacked by the wealthiest citizens, whom no one elected, and who are unlikely ever to have had a child in the public schools.” This is one reason why urban schools suffer so much. And after that, Delpit explains why charter schools are also no longer doing what they’re supposed to do: help those who need it most. But those students “bring down the curve.” She also explains how (and why) standardized test brings out the worst in adults, and students. It can even be a factor in why some students commit suicide, even as young as third grade. These tests make them feel less than, and dumb. And then teachers make them feel like they are because of it. Many blacks, especially males, feel like teachers don’t care. As a teacher, other educators often frustrate and anger me. Her strategies on approaching children is great for any teacher to know, especially being able to respect home cultures. I really like her words on culture vs. response to oppression Delpit considers all the negative words in English language that show negativity towards black (black listed, niggardly, blackmail, etc.) There is some interesting info on stereotype threat—how stereotypes, knowing or otherwise—affect outcomes. We teachers need to help students identify to schools and community. To expose them to their “intellectual legacy” by treating them as educational scholars (as we prod students, they will become what we see them). Teachers need to teach students to think for themselves, and multiple critical thinking skills, especially in stigmatized and oppressed groups. We need to learn the thinking of the students, and how to better help them explore content in their own worlds and contexts We must help to educate and learn beyond negative stereotypes, especially by building curricula that is geared towards student interests I love the information on African education. We ALL have intellectual capacity. We don’t look at issues with schools but instead at what is wrong with the kids. That needs to change! Indeed, we need a continuous rigorous program even after preschool, one that grows with the children, and helps them to develop “the knowledge of the outside world that children from less privileged families might lack.” TEACH them those “basic” skills and literacy that they might come to school lacking, instead of placing them as “low” vs. “high” levels. We need to help students understand that they should pursue learning to educate and lead people, to be free of ignorance. Not to simply “get a job.” We have a minutia of learning instead of teaching content in context and link it to reality in order to provide real meaning. Learning needs to be flexible and competent, and adapt for student needs Teachers, and their teaching styes, need to have a firm yet warm demander for most black kids. We need to teach to students strengths (even cultural ones) and not just focus on their weaknesses. We also need to whether implicitly or explicitly stop telling children from for families and minority groups that they are not too smart, and that only whites can be gifted. I love the idea that such thinking is political. Most educators don’t or should not think that way, and it really is all politics. I also really like the phrase “reforming cannot mean whitening.” Brings up great examples as to the shortcomings of Teach For America, including giving subpar education in blacker schools because of high turnover rates. We need to seek out appropriate mentors and work to educate ourselves and work against a belief system that demeans and seeks to make system whiter. Also everything about Katrina just reeks of racism. I did not realize just why there are still issues down there, until she talked about the race distribution, and the fact that little to no help was given even by the American Red Cross. I am absolutely appalled. Delpit equates the different micro aggressions that blacks face to mini doses of arsenic. That staggered me. We need to help students not dis-identify with school by 1. Respecting them (and their cultures and values). 2. Challenging them appropriately. But they will not accept the challenge if they don’t feel respected. 3. Acknowledging and addressing their complaints of racism+. The + is there because too many black students feel like they’re invisible, that if they say something in class, their comment is ignored until a white student says the same thing. We need to stop asking, “Do you know what I know?” and instead ask “What do YOU know?” Delpit proposes some great ideas as to how colleges can move forward in ensuring black children can attain their academic goals.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ginna

    I read this as a professional development summer read for work. I recommend this for all teachers. It is a powerful testament and reminder to look at each child individually and without assumptions.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cree

    Such a refreshing read for my Grad class.

  20. 5 out of 5

    SJ Loria

    Two Articles and the Education Implications One of my students was telling the class how she was the only black student in her previous school (a private school). I asked her “which school do you like better?” “Well, here I feel more welcome, there I learned more.” Recently I was debating a friend and I asked him, well, what’s the end goal of education? He responded to build a sense of community, I responded that the end goal of American education is to instill individual excellence so a person can Two Articles and the Education Implications One of my students was telling the class how she was the only black student in her previous school (a private school). I asked her “which school do you like better?” “Well, here I feel more welcome, there I learned more.” Recently I was debating a friend and I asked him, well, what’s the end goal of education? He responded to build a sense of community, I responded that the end goal of American education is to instill individual excellence so a person can perform to the best of their ability. We are a meritocracy where all men are created equal, but we do not become equal. We disagreed, and the author of this book agrees with my friend in the communal (and mediocre) approach. This much I agree with. We are both angry about the broken status quo, and we both deeply believe that schools that serve lower income students can be better. But here’s the thing, passion and belief are excellent motivators, but they have the ability to make your own conclusions inaccurate. You run a great danger of confirmation bias. Like most traits, passion and belief can be your greatest virtue but also your Achilles heel if not moderated. If I say kids should wear uniforms, am I saying that they have to abandon their culture and adopt the dominant culture preppie clothes of whites? Or am I saying I want them to dress like a professional? As our K12 public school system is essentially segregated by class and wealth then what’s the way out? Do we create a pocket of schools majority-minority schools where minorities can feel comfortable and are able to perform, but not excel, academically? Can we be content with that? Is there a middle ground between culturally responsive schools and academically rigorous schools? Last time I checked, scholarly excellence isn’t a white thing, or a male thing, it’s a part of the human experience and makes life more beautiful. Criticisms 1. Broaden the Conversation – it’s time to admit we have two large minority populations that are underperforming academically. This is no longer just a black problem, it’s a black and brown problem. This author focuses exclusively on black performance, limiting the scope of the book. Does this make sense America? Time to just acknowledge the statistics and speak to both of our impoverished groups. There are some important distinctions between the two groups, but they are both underperforming. There are certain errors you make by insisting you’re an expert on your culture. For instance she goes into this long section about how Africans learn though stories, so why can’t schools tell stories? I thought about The Tipping Point, and remembered…ummmmm, all kids think through stories. That’s not a black thing, that’s a thing thing. And while we’re on the topic, black academic achievement, Hispanic academic achievement, and white academic achievement shouldn’t look totally different. It’s the academic achievement part that matters, that’s what is important. I’m not saying we should be culturally colorblind, but I’m saying the brain is grey matter for us all, right? The conversation that I do think needs to happen is us as a mammal in education. Academic performance plummets, and discipline skyrockets in males when puberty sets in. The body changes. Does our academic approach reflect this change? Does our language and motivation while discussing the why school matters change? Doesn’t seem so. Why aren’t we having that conversation? 2. Does insisting on culturally relevant everything deepen the negative effects of stereotype threat? It’s worth asking. This so called culturally relevant curriculum of, hey, look how evil white people have been to browner people in history creates a sense of victimization. To me this seems the opposite of individual empowerment that the dreadlocked teachers swear it is. Why is it that teaching kids an emotional reaction to history considered culturally relevant? 3. She’s loves to brush her own shoulders off. Somehow she manages to find a way to subtly mention her involvement with practically every successful model she does bring up. It’s not a criticism of her main point, but it’s more something that makes me chuckle. 4. Kinda, and by this I mean very, contradictory – TFA people assume this about us, but all just clueless white kids. We have to protect veteran teachers who don’t want to change, teachers have to reform. Good public schools are possible, why my daughter goes to a private school. . I chuckle sometimes when I hear education professors or politicians talk about saving the public school system while simultaneously talking about all the great private schools their kids attend. She lambasts stereotypes, and then proclaims them. It’s almost comedic, but kinda troubling. I like saying the tutelage of experience, culturally relevant mentors helps rookie teachers (and students) but neither is 100% accurate. I suspect the truth lies somewhere between the TFA camp fire them all versus the keep around the ineffective teachers camp. 5. 6. Heavy on the why, light on the how. I wish there had been a bit more time devoted to how some of the successful schools are doing what they are doing. The quality of academic in this book is…how can I say this nicely…not excellent. My brother is a doctor, and when we compare research articles it’s embarrassing. Educators love to defend their opinion, and don’t think they need to cite studies to do so, so why is that? 7. Creating two separate systems? – A pocket of culturally relevant schools (like HBCUs at the K12 level) versus the high performing white kids? A me-centric, let me make posters and celebrate my culture K12 experience that leaves a strong sense of “community” but no individuals who are educated enough to perform well at selective universities? Is that it? 8. Us versus them thinking – if you start to divide people into ideological camps and dismiss them due to differences from your own, you are making a mistake. Not all businesses are evil. Not all private companies are evil. Not all unions are perfect. The truth lies somewhere in between, but many educators fall into the low trust trap. Why? I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently regarding culturally relatively and its relationship to rigor. I wholeheartedly believe that a school can be simultaneously culturally relevant as well as academically rigorous. And yet, the more culturally relevant schools I work in, the more I worry about this balance. Culturally relevant seems to take the form of “poor, urban kids can’t handle that difficult topic or author, so give them this instead.” And the alternative for the minority, ghetto kids is always, and I’m sorry but there is no other way to say this - easier. Less rigorous, less challenging. Instead of a Shakespeare unit with a paper at the end, we read House on Mango St. and make a poster. The muchachos can only relate to that kind of book, I’m told. Is it possible to combine cultural relevancy and academic excellence? Is there a happy in between from colorblindness and the post-modern forces of the world narrative in history? Where is the moment individual responsibility comes into play and does learning the dominant / culture version of history part of learned, cultural helplessness / stereotype threat? In the January 2014 edition, Scientific American’s article on the unconscious mind has some pretty interesting points. Among these are stereotype threat and how bringing to mind a stereotype about race or gender negatively affects performance in school or the workplace. "Negative impact on test performance when a minority student, before the exam begins, is asked to check off what racial or ethnic group the student belongs to." Our constant reminding a student of their culture and too much of a narrative on the injustices of history teaches a kind of victimization mindset that discourages individual excellence. This insistent focus on cultural relevancy creates an alternative curriculum right? And does it not disempower the individual? Scientific American, How Goole Affect Your Memory: The other regards using computers to replace memory of a partner. Computers, I have been told again and again, are the way to engage kids in the ghetto. But what effect does it have on learning? In fact, a couple of interesting points. If someone is typing on a computer and they are told the computer is going to save the information, they do worse on mastery tests. The article focuses on the effect of this on couples, I think of learning. There are certain districts in fact embracing a, the era of knowing facts in your head is over, we need to teach kids how to use the computer. I think this is mistaken. Again, the individual suffers here. I think of my man Kurt Vonnegut who said, “it’s you who should be doing the becoming, not the damn fool computer.” “We found that those who believed the computer had saved the list of facts were much worse at remembering” As we off-load responsibility for many types of information to the Internet, we may be replacing other potential transactive memory partners—friends, family members and other human experts—with our ever present connection to a seemingly omniscient digital cloud. It’s always proposed as an engagement tool, but I think computers are a sign of disengagement. The classroom’s digital babysitter. The equivalent of flipping on a movie and zoing out that used to happen. If you have enough time to check your email during class, it is doubtful good teaching is happening. Quotes: I am angry that public schools, once a beacon of democracy, have been overrun by the antidemocratic forces of extreme wealth. XV – This is a “red flag” statement, very indicative of (sorry to use the pun) a black and white moral system. A blanket statement such as “all businesses are evil” is not only ridiculous but also financially prohibitive for a school. “There is no research to support the proliferation of charter schools, pay-for-performance plans, or market-based school competition. Indeed where there is research, it largely suggests we should do an about-face and run in the opposite direction.” XVI. Says the author who sends her kid to a private school she found through market-based comparisons! No research? Then you begin the next sentence with little research? Says the author who will make all kinds of blanket statements with no reference to any kinds of empirical studies in the chapters to come. Riddle me this, if charter schools work why shouldn’t parents be given that option? “Stereotype threat…appears to function in most settings in which a group feels stigma potentially related to its performance. The scores of a group of white men, for example, were lower in one experiment when they were told that a particular test measured natural athletic ability…A second interesting finding is that over the long term, the chronic experience of stereotype threat appears to lead individuals to “dis-identify.” 19…Here we go about stereotype threat, but what are the long term effects of isolating people into racial groups and teaching them a curriculum of victimization? We cannot allow an expectation gap to result in an achievement gap. Multiplication is for everyone.” 25 – We agree on the diagnosis, disagree on the cure. *“White children are learning to decode, teachers read to the children complex, thought provoking material, well above the students’ current reading level and engage in discussions about the information and the advanced vocabulary they encounter. Students are involved in activities that use the information and the advanced vocabulary they encounter. Students are involved in activities that use the information and vocabulary in both creative and analytical ways, and teachers help them create metaphors for the new knowledge that connects this knowledge to the students’ lives.” 36 – Exactly, the way in which white students learn in the best schools shouldn’t look totally different from a low-income school learning, and the curriculum does not need to be watered down for inner city kids. *“The Ma’at value system, an all-encompassing system of seven principles that composed the moral system of Kemet. These principles are truth, justice, harmony, balance, order, reciprocity, and righteousness. The class studied Ma’at by engaging in many oral and written discussions about the principles. They explored the overarching African notion of responsibility of the individual to the group “I am because we are.” The students mad a Ma’at quilt in which they created visual interpretations of the meaning of each principle.” 46 – This is interesting. Responbility and family are principles that are not exclusive to this group, but if one needs to frame virtue education in the context of a culturally relevant example, I’m fine with that. A hook, so to speak, for virtue based ethics. “Although no research supports instruction in phonics beyond first grade or instruction in phonics beyond first grade or instruction in phonemic awareness….children need to participate in real literacy activities, but some who do not come from homes that reflect school culture, need to learn the skills necessary for literature communication.” 63 “British education Peter Mortimore found that the quality of teaching has six to ten times as much impact on achievement as all other factors combined…in the lower-performing school, I saw most teachers sitting while students completed seat work.” 73 – aHA, bad teachers are mostly to blame, and low performing schools have way more bad teachers than regular schools. That’s one of the main issues, but then you defend ineffective teachers in the following chapters. Why? *“Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” –Leroy Washington 79 *“My own caveat about interpreting the raised voices with which some teachers, usually African American, talk to children, is that it is important to listen to their words, not just their tone…When a teacher expresses genuine emotion and a belief in a child’s ability to do better, that is a message that many children are eager to hear, regardless of the medium.” 81 – Exactly. This is why I am able to yell while coaching, it’s a different medium to convey a complex message to them kids. Y si yo digo que esto es parte de mi pinche cultura, ya puedo hacerlo. Muahah, or I suppose I should say, mujajja. Hashtag, the other side of minority educators, in da houuuuuuuse. *“It is the quality of relationship that allows a teacher’s push for excellence. As I have previously written, many of our children of color don’t learn from a teacher, as much as for a teacher. They don’t want to disappoint a teacher who they feel believes in them. They may, especially if they are older, resist the teacher’s pushing initially, but they are disappointed if the teacher gives up, stops pushing.” 86 Reminds me of the “I didn’t do it for you bitch, I did it for Mr. Loria” quote that my man decided to yell at the principal when he returned to school (on his own accord, not in handcuffs). That’s how we do, guerra. *“If the teacher is strong enough to control them, then the teacher is strong enough to protect them.” 86 – Yep “What we call ‘the arts’ provides a model to ensure that all children can learn without being labeled…the people who offered experiences that allowed them to be in touch with the magic they carried inside them…the arts give us new eyes to see the potential for the expression of genius in our children. They also give us the opportunities to help children grow, rather than to constantly see their deficiencies…we ask them to abandon every tool they have used to learn about the world and sit still and listen.” – Yep, the arts channel the human being inside of us, sitting still 100% of the time is not education, but as students mature I think we can teach them how to sit still more often. It’s a workplace skill they’ll need, but the arts are critical to development. 100 *”The Crayola Curriculum…coloring was the single most predominant activity in the schools they had observed – right up through middle school [I’ve seen it in High School as well, very frequently]…The saddest part about my visit was that every overage student I talked to – all of whom had enrolled in this school to complete high school at an accelerated pace – told me that she or he wanted to go to college. From what I saw of the curriculum, it would be a miracle if any made it.” 125 – This is an endemic, you want to stop it? Stop making fucking posters and start reading hard books. Stop logging onto facebook, start going to a library. Everyone wants the end goal, not everyone works for it. But you can. Now. *Disparity in assignments in schools with different demographics….in a predominately white school, a typical assignment asked the students to write an essay on Anne Frnak….An example of a writing assignment the seventh graders in the African American and Latino school typically got was a worksheet: “The ‘Me’ Page.” Students were asked to fill in the blanks with one or two words: “my best friend,” “a chore I hate,” “a car I want…” Given the sort of educational malpractice that our students endure, is it any wonder that achievement gaps have persisted for generations in this country.” 125 – I recently had a high school student in an AP Literature class ask me to review his essay (I get essays from everyone, I love it!). The essay was a step by step instruction guide on how to cook papayas, along with a few paragraphs about how his familia and culture loves to eat these. It was written at about a 5th grade level. The school doesn’t think students need to read Shakespeare, because he does not share the skin color of the students at the school. Instead, they, with a flag of cultural relevancy waving, have High School kids write about food. Sad. “Collaboration is the magic bullet…teachers help each other develop and assess lessons that teach to the standards. The time should be totally focused on talking about and analyzing precisely and concretely the results achieved with specific lessons and units…teams of teachers work together to analyze student assessments and then craft and refine lessons and units until they have achieved an optimal effect on student learning.”143 – Respek, so there is a way to structure teacher collaboration to achieve optimal results, eh, team meeting does not mean team let’s complain about bullshit fest. Respek.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Vogelezang

    There are many things I appreciate about Multiplication is for White People. Lisa Delpit ushers in a set of concerns and possible solutions into the arena of teaching Black children. She does so in a easy-to-access writing style, with a solid mix of anecdotal and empirical evidence. I find that many education PD books, specifically ones meant to address the racism that runs rampant in our education system, rely too heavily on one or the other - either lots of stories from individuals or so much There are many things I appreciate about Multiplication is for White People. Lisa Delpit ushers in a set of concerns and possible solutions into the arena of teaching Black children. She does so in a easy-to-access writing style, with a solid mix of anecdotal and empirical evidence. I find that many education PD books, specifically ones meant to address the racism that runs rampant in our education system, rely too heavily on one or the other - either lots of stories from individuals or so much data that it feels stifling to try and sift though it all for how I can change my practice to better serve my students. Delpit was a breath of fresh air in this regard. She includes anecdotal stories sprinkled throughout, but they are nearly always connected strongly to a piece of data she's trying to make a point about. Points for this! I also think Delpit brings up some points that a lot of teachers still need to hear, number one being that we can not teach all students the same and expect them all to learn exactly the same. Educational equity doesn't just mean students have access to a quality education but then must conform to white standards to take advantage of that access. Educational equity means students are not only given access, but that the educational system which has failed so many students for so long molds itself to the needs of its most underserved communities and populations. Really, it means a whole lot of sh*t needs to change before we can even come close to claiming educational equity. Now, I do also have some concerns with some of Delpit's arguments. Number one being that teachers are the end all, be all in a student's life. There's a whole section in here that talks about how teachers are a student's lifeline to a better life and I take issue with two assumptions here - (1) talking about getting a better life devalues the lives our students currently lead and (2) that teachers are the only way this can happen. That kind of thinking breeds a whole lot of white saviorism. I can imagine, given so many current events in the last few years, that there are many white teachers newly turned onto the idea of anti-racism that will read that section and think it's their job to "fix" these poor Black and brown students. It's not. We aren't fixing them because there is nothing wrong with them. We are also not their only lifeline to whatever pathway they choose to take in the future. As Delpit herself claims many times throughout her book, students bring with them so much knowledge that is often ignored in traditional classrooms. Similarly, classrooms are not the only place where students learn and are pushed and challenged. We are one part of a student's educational journey, but learning also happens at home, in churches, on sports teams and so many other places. Those learning spaces also hold immense value and while some students may find school to be the ultimate safe haven, that is not true for all. Finally, I'll leave with this - many times Delpit references how hard teachers worked to support students, how they frequently stayed later after class to support them or were there early so students could complete missed assignments or any other number of references to behavior that produces burnout faster than a California wildfire. That kind of work is sustainable for very few teachers and continually holding it up as the beacon for exceptional teaching is what causes so many good teachers to end up leaving after only a few years. Teachers that, had they not worked 80 hours a week consistently for years, might have stayed in the classroom and continued to have an impact on students for a much longer time. The kind of teachers Delpit is arguing for exist, but I see droves of them leave the profession every year because it is so damn exhausting to be the kind of teacher that pours their entire being into supporting students. Teachers can still make an impact, a sizeable one, without exhausting themselves. And I'll leave my review at that.

  22. 4 out of 5

    CTEP

    For this February's book share, I finally got my hands on a book that first cough my eye a couple of months ago. After reading another book by Lisa Delpit, I really enjoyed the way she raises ideas / questions while challenging conventional thinking about education and teaching, so her latest book (only 2 years old now) seemed like a good next step. I also had undergone a "beyond diversity" training a few months ago where the main facilitator recommended this book to me, so it it seemed like a g For this February's book share, I finally got my hands on a book that first cough my eye a couple of months ago. After reading another book by Lisa Delpit, I really enjoyed the way she raises ideas / questions while challenging conventional thinking about education and teaching, so her latest book (only 2 years old now) seemed like a good next step. I also had undergone a "beyond diversity" training a few months ago where the main facilitator recommended this book to me, so it it seemed like a good next step in my literary explorations of youth work. Delpit's main goal in this book comes out through its subtitle: "raising expectations for other people's children," while her main critique of how our education system operates is found in the main title: "multiplication is for white people." Behind this powerful statement she raises many examples through her personal life and experience as a teacher and scholar to call out the systemic racism in our education system that has, for many generations, kept academic expectations for students of color lower than academic expectations for white students. When we do this, she argues, we perpetuate the many devastating cycles that keep expanding the gaps (in education, employment, etc) along racial lines. As a product of where we set expectations, she thoughtfully demonstrates how these gaps are established at a young age, often times as early as elementary schools. By constantly lowering the bar, teaching for remediation, and kicking the can down the road, we fail students by not offering a way out of the downward spiral. The solution, she argues, should never be to lower expectations, but by raising them while diversifying how we teach and relate to students. One of the best parts of the way Delpit crafts her arguments is through the seamless balance of personal anecdotal evidence as a teacher and her depth of scholarly/scientific knowledge as an academic. Behind almost every claim she makes based on her experience she is able to back up with thoroughly tested evidence (the stereotype threat, for example). By doing these, she is able to simultaneously de-bunk myths about race while offering clear, practical ideas to help solve the problems she describes. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to improve their ability teaching people of color -- specifically youth. It will open your eyes to some serious problems while offering a solid foundation in how you can start raising expectations for other people's children.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    MacArthur Fellow and education professor Lisa Delpit (author of the seminal book Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflicts in the Classroom) takes on the “pedagogy of poverty” in this exploration of why education is still failing poor students of color. She charges that in spite of the fact that America has a black president, “…we are far from a color-blind society, that African Americans are still devalued, stigmatized, and made invisible.” In particular, she points to “microaggressions,” the t MacArthur Fellow and education professor Lisa Delpit (author of the seminal book Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflicts in the Classroom) takes on the “pedagogy of poverty” in this exploration of why education is still failing poor students of color. She charges that in spite of the fact that America has a black president, “…we are far from a color-blind society, that African Americans are still devalued, stigmatized, and made invisible.” In particular, she points to “microaggressions,” the term coined by Harvard researcher Chester Pierce, which refers to: “Brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color.” As Pierce observed, any one of these may not be of great consequence, but when added together over time create a deadly psychological assault. Delpit provides numerous examples of children of color (including her own daughter) being discounted, discredited, and stereotyped in the classroom. The author reminds us that research shows there is no achievement gap at birth. But as minority children endure year after year of this treatment, they begin to “disidentify” with school and education and may either protest by acting out, or withdraw by disengaging. As Delpit writes, “Disidentified students become aliens in the academic world.” Part of the problem is that different socioeconomic classes and different ethnicities have quite different ways of expressing themselves and of learning. When white teachers encounter these differences in children of color, they very often infer the child is learning impaired or disruptive or incapable of learning, when this may not be the case at all. Most critically, the students and their innate capabilities (or lack thereof) are blamed for failures in achievement rather than a deficiency in the teachers. Interestingly, Delpit reports that one unexpected and deleterious effect of the Brown v. Board of Education decision (desegregating the schools) was that a large number of black teachers and administrators lost their jobs and were replaced by whites (at the insistence of white parents). These new educators were not necessarily better qualified than those they replaced. But even many well-meaning and qualified white teachers went into these newly integrated classrooms with a view of themselves as the white “saviors” of the black children. There were two other bad results as well: one was that black students were less likely to see people “who looked like them” in positions of authority. Perhaps more importantly, these white teachers and principals had little understanding of the cultures and styles of learning of their students. As a result, behaviors that may be overlooked in whites are disparaged and punished in blacks. (A study released in March 2014 by the Department of Education found that while black children represent 18 percent of preschool enrollment they make up 48 percent of preschool children who receive more than one out-of-school suspension.) Is it a matter of black students just being not as well behaved? Data is only beginning to be analyzed, but anecdotal evidence at least, as reported in "The Washington Post," suggests this is not the case. What happens to those students who have become alienated from education? As one educator said, “the disenfranchised will either implode and destroy themselves or explode in our own front yards and most assured destroy us.” Do we really want to abandon all these children and create dangerous and expensive social problems rather than encouraging every child to reach his or her potential and contribute to society in a positive way? What must be done to change this pattern? Delpit admits there are things educators cannot change, such as the level of poverty in a community, but asserts that blaming poverty is just an excuse for poor teaching. She identifies many examples of programs in blighted areas that experienced success when children were treated as if they could and would succeed. She proposes a formula for fostering excellence in urban classrooms that includes recognizing the inherent brilliance of poor, urban children and teaching them more content, not less; demanding critical thinking; providing children with emotional ego strength; and honoring and respecting the children’s home cultures, inter alia. Unfortunately, recent education “reforms” with their emphasis on worksheets and test preparation make instituting these practices difficult. Even charter schools have started to weed their student populations in favor of less challenging students whose scores will generate more funding. We must not give up, though, she urges. What is at stake is too important. It is only by continuing to push open dialogue on these issues (as she does with her books) that educators can honor their sacred trust to “fill our students’ hearts and minds with the potential for envisioning a future better than we ourselves can even imagine.” And that means filling all our students’ hearts and minds. Discussion: Obviously the quality of American education is suffering in all socioeconomic groups. (See for example this article by Elizabeth Green, “Why Do Americans Stink at Math?”, an except from a new book on problems with teaching.) But middle and upper class white children, as members of the social majority, have opportunities and resources not available to poor children of color. Moreover, they have a more immediate acceptance and sense of comfort by how they are treated, which enables them to maintain a positive attitude and the expectation of success. This optimistic frame of mind is easier to maintain when one is not beaten down at every corner. Simply stated, those who think people of color are “oversensitive” have never gone through life as a person of color. Evaluation: Anyone concerned about the quality of American education and the future of American society will find this book illuminating, as will anyone who contends that we in America have come to “the end of racism.”

  24. 4 out of 5

    Arainai

    I want to go about this carefully because this book is not without merit. First, it took forever for me to finish this book (which I read for school), and found it difficult to get through which is probably just a personal preference thing. I will say that I think this book felt like it could have been probably half as long as it was which didn't add to the reading experience. So many things were repeated over and over again so everything became predictable and at times boring. There are some gre I want to go about this carefully because this book is not without merit. First, it took forever for me to finish this book (which I read for school), and found it difficult to get through which is probably just a personal preference thing. I will say that I think this book felt like it could have been probably half as long as it was which didn't add to the reading experience. So many things were repeated over and over again so everything became predictable and at times boring. There are some great points in here that can definitely be applied in the classroom but they were things that I would apply in any classroom, not just low-income African American classrooms (which is really the focus of the book, this very specific group of students). There were really no epiphanies here either just things that most sane people would tell you works but that the author is saying we need more of, this isn't new. Maybe I'm reading this later than intended and things have changed but there aren't many new ideas here and a lot of anecdotal stories and stories about her daughter.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tami

    “The reality is that all children have much greater potential than we ever imagine, but our rigid educational system assumes that some children are incapable of achieving academically and that one model of instruction fits all.” I’m not even sure where to start with this book. I believe this is a must read for educators. Delpit provides thought provoking evidence demonstrating how schools & teachers systematically expect and teach less to some students. She also provides ways and processes to int “The reality is that all children have much greater potential than we ever imagine, but our rigid educational system assumes that some children are incapable of achieving academically and that one model of instruction fits all.” I’m not even sure where to start with this book. I believe this is a must read for educators. Delpit provides thought provoking evidence demonstrating how schools & teachers systematically expect and teach less to some students. She also provides ways and processes to interrogate these structures and provide rigor to all students. Let’s stop stereotyping and labeling children, embrace all their splendid individuality and develop strengths! This is an amazing addition to my social justice collection. I am excited to share this text with my preservice teachers!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Moses Hetfield

    A great book about the need to hold high expectations for all children regardless of race. Delpit persuasively advocates against the common tendency for teachers to assume that factors external to the school make it impossible for black children to succeed, and to teach at a lower level with lower standards on the basis of that assumption. Rather than making excuses for students who face obstacles outside of class and allowing them to fail, she argues that teachers need to provide students with A great book about the need to hold high expectations for all children regardless of race. Delpit persuasively advocates against the common tendency for teachers to assume that factors external to the school make it impossible for black children to succeed, and to teach at a lower level with lower standards on the basis of that assumption. Rather than making excuses for students who face obstacles outside of class and allowing them to fail, she argues that teachers need to provide students with the support they need to succeed in spite of those obstacles. She provides examples of successful pedagogy for disadvantaged students and methods teachers can use to help everyone succeed. I appreciated that this book forced me to question the assumptions I make and the way I think about effective teaching.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Janea

    Better for instructors or those working towards teaching rather than for a general freshman comp class. I don't know that I learned anything "new" per se, but it was good to see this from another perspective. Many of my students who read this did express that they finally felt like someone "got it," and they were hopeful that future K-12 students would benefit from teachers who read/will read this. Better for instructors or those working towards teaching rather than for a general freshman comp class. I don't know that I learned anything "new" per se, but it was good to see this from another perspective. Many of my students who read this did express that they finally felt like someone "got it," and they were hopeful that future K-12 students would benefit from teachers who read/will read this.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Libriar

    I listened to this as an audiobook and I almost gave up on it. Perhaps it was just me but I felt there was too much judgement in the narrator's voice in the beginning of the book. I eventually sped up the audio to 1.25 and liked it much better so perhaps it was just the narrator reading slowly that made me dislike it. Ultimately the content was excellent although it seemed a bit disjointed at times and isn't exactly what I expected. An important book about educating black students. I listened to this as an audiobook and I almost gave up on it. Perhaps it was just me but I felt there was too much judgement in the narrator's voice in the beginning of the book. I eventually sped up the audio to 1.25 and liked it much better so perhaps it was just the narrator reading slowly that made me dislike it. Ultimately the content was excellent although it seemed a bit disjointed at times and isn't exactly what I expected. An important book about educating black students.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nate Balcom

    Lots to think about after reading this VERY informative work. I was able to hear Lisa Delpit speak at a recent virtual conference where she challenged me and forced me to reflect and look ahead at how things could change for the betterment of all students. If you're in education, I'd highly recommend this read. She's extremely intelligent and quotes a lot of sources which bring weight and perspectives to the topics addressed. Lots to think about after reading this VERY informative work. I was able to hear Lisa Delpit speak at a recent virtual conference where she challenged me and forced me to reflect and look ahead at how things could change for the betterment of all students. If you're in education, I'd highly recommend this read. She's extremely intelligent and quotes a lot of sources which bring weight and perspectives to the topics addressed.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Karma

    Very informative and interesting. Just don't be fooled by the names of the different parts of the book. I almost skipped "Part Two: Educating the Youngest" and "Part Four: University and Beyond" because I thought they wouldn't apply to me, but there was much more in both of these parts than information about educating young students and college students. Read it all! Very informative and interesting. Just don't be fooled by the names of the different parts of the book. I almost skipped "Part Two: Educating the Youngest" and "Part Four: University and Beyond" because I thought they wouldn't apply to me, but there was much more in both of these parts than information about educating young students and college students. Read it all!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.