Essay on Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom

Essay on Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom

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In 1995, Delpit published Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom. Although the excerpt analyzed in this paper is from a larger work, it was written by Delpit (1995) as a self-contained speech. This excerpt includes many of the concepts Delpit believes to be the basic cultural conflicts in the classroom, which are stereotyping, child-deficit assumptions and student isolation and invisibility. Delpit's goal is to "remove the dynamic of oppression that are inherent in any classroom…that come together when (primarily white) teachers spend time with 'other people's children'" (Delpit, 1995, pg.69). Through Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom, Delpit lays the foundation for multicultural education and details ways teachers can solve the inherent problems that arise as a result of many cultures interacting in the classroom. The purpose of this paper is an analysis of this text through an analytic, interpretive and normative reading.

Analytic Reading

Delpit's article is in support of the multicultural education theory. She invites the reader to travel with her "to other worlds…learning to see albeit dimly, through the haze of our own cultural lenses" (Delpit, 1995, pg.69). Delpit's article identifies the four problems of educating poor and culturally diverse children she believes educators need to resolve in order to achieve multiculturalism in the classroom.
The first problem Delpit identifies is the culture clash that often exists between students and the school. According to Delpit (1995) this cultural clash is manifested in two ways, through teachers misreading students intents, and abilities as a result of a difference in language and interaction styles, and al...

... middle of paper ...

...'s Children, is an important tool in the education of teachers to help them to see teaching is not a politic-free practice that has little to do with social justice. Through reading multicultural theorists like Delpit, teachers are better prepared to deal with the issues like injustice and "remove the blinders built of stereotypes, mono-cultural instructional methodologies, ignorance, social distance biased research and racism" in the classrooms (Delpit, 1995, pg.69).

Delpit believes effective multicultural education for teachers is essential. By teaching educators effective ways to communicate with poor students and students of color, teachers are prepared to address issues that arise due to culture conflicts. When teachers are able to appreciate the differences their students’ posses, stereotypes are able to be broken down in the classroom.

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