Thursday, May 26, 2011

Delpit- Talking Points: The silent Dialogue from Other People's children


   In silenced dialogue, Delpit examines the issue of race in schools and cultural clashes in the classroom. Lisa Delpit points that most of the problems attributed to children of color are the result of miscommunication across different cultures, and not really over instructional methodology. As schools and the minority students struggle with the  imbalance  of power that leads to the dilemma as to whose voices are heard in our society  and  discusses how students (especially minority) are not provided with valuable education opportunities that stimulates the individual’s analytical and creativity skills. She addresses concerns about “skills” versus “process” approaches to writing instructions, and how they affect students who do not belong to “the culture of power”:  inequality that teachers and students find in the school community because of their culture background, and capital.  Wealthier, and white kids are provided better educational opportunities than low-income, and black students- the curriculum restricts them from valuable learning tools- because the rules of power are enforced and hard to detect, and are so deeply ingrained into our culture and education system.
She emphasizes that students can expand their creativity through writing in a meaningful context as they develop new writing skills, and encourages truly skilled teachers-those with good intentions to admit their role as power brokers, to use both “skills” and “process” approach, reexamine their instructional techniques, to see their students  as unique, multi-dimensional individuals  and embrace the different cultures, and ethnic identities brought to classroom which in turn guides students to establish their own independence and let their opinions be regarded in society because the prejudice that teachers place on the cultural difference has tremendous impact on school community and student’s performance within the environment, as well.
When educators of color who are familiar with these students’ culture try to suggest alternative methods for teaching, they are silenced. When they refuse to take part in the debate because nobody listens, their silence is misinterpreted as acquiescence. So, standards to suit American middle class children continue to be used to evaluate children of color, to whom these systems are foreign. Delpit is interested in promoting the kind of education that would have a transformative effect on individuals and society. She believes that nothing will be gained in the educational system if people continue to shut out people who have different beliefs and interpretations from their own.
I agree that the absence of voice in any society is a big problem, and at times they are not heard because their thinking or beliefs differ from the majority dominant. Often educators don’t want to change or be irreverent in order to survive, be accepted and succeed in the existent society, which is predominant white and have deemed to standard all its rules. Besides, people are afraid of difference and don’t know how to cope and react to it. As in black-and-white friction it can mean giving up to their culture and identification. Furthermore, understanding that there are sensible reasons why people act and hold the beliefs that they do is necessary.
Delpit, feels that a sense of flexibility will benefit everyone and give to all members in society, regardless of any racial factors, a more balanced voice.  


  1. Wow! I am impressed you have already completed your blog! It is well written and provides a great summary of the author's argument. I love your use of the Delpit's picture, hyperlinks, and bold font.

  2. Nice Job Marcia! I also thought that Delpit's picture was a nice touch. After I finished reading the article, I looked Delpit up to read her bio and that was the same picture I saw of her! Your blog looks great, I hope I can figure out how to enhance mine!! I also agree that the absence of voice is a big problem. To be honest, until reading Delpit's article I did not realize this issue existed to this extent.

  3. Excellent blog Marcia! I like how you worded "absence of voice" because it's not like the voice isn't there, it's just not being heard. I also agree about educators not always wanting to change or adapt. No one likes being taken out of their comfort zone. As educators, we have to learn to be open to all ideas and methods, not just the ones that are widely used and culturally accepted.