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"Multiplication Is for White People": Raising Expectations for Other People’s Children Hardcover – March 20, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The (March 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595580468
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595580467
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“If all teachers adopted these ideas, the American educational system would be vastly improved for all students. Covering age groups from preschool to college, Delpit offers advice to new and veteran teachers, advice that applies not only to African American students but to all ethnic and minority groups. A much-needed review of the American educational system and an examination of the techniques needed to improve the teaching methods of all involved in that system.”
Kirkus Reviews

“In this passionate book, Lisa Delpit argues thoughtfully and urgently for a new approach to the education of the children who are now left behind. We must heed her words of wisdom.”
—Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System

“Once again Lisa Delpit dispels myths about the way in which African American children learn. She demonstrates how they can master complex concepts and succeed if racist systems get out of their way.”
—Herbert Kohl, 2010 Guggenheim Education Fellow, National Book Award winner, and author of 36 Children

“This book is an instant classic. By challenging us to reimagine the culture, politics, and practice of teaching our nation’s most vulnerable and marginalized students, Lisa Delpit raises the stakes of the current conversations on education yet again. Her scholarship is rigorous, her scope is wide-ranging, her writing is magical, and her hope is contagious.”
—Marc Lamont Hill, author of Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity

'Multiplication Is for White People' compels readers to think deeply about why we allow assessment to drive instruction, why we have silenced discussion about inequality in public policy, and why outcomes continue to be so stubbornly correlated with race. At a time when profound thinking about solving America's education dilemmas is in short supply, Delpit has come to the rescue with a book that forces us to do just that.”
—Pedro Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University and author of The Trouble With Black Boys

About the Author

MacArthur "genius" award winner Lisa Delpit's article on "Other People's Children" for Harvard Magazine was the single most requested reprint in the magazine's history following its publication. Delpit expanded her ideas into a groundbreaking book with the same name, which won a Critics' Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association, Choice magazine's Outstanding Academic Title award, and was voted one of Teacher Magazine's "great books." A recipient of the Harvard School of Education's award for an Outstanding Contribution to Education, she is dedicated to providing excellent education to communities both in the United States and abroad. She is a co-editor of The Real Ebonics Debate, Quality Education as a Constitutional Right, and The Skin That We Speak(The New Press). Currently the Felton G. Clark Professor of Education at Southern University, she lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

More About the Author

MacArthur "genius" award winner Lisa Delpit's article on "Other People's Children" for Harvard Magazine in the 1990s was the single most requested reprint in the magazine's history; Harvard School of Education gave her its award for Outstanding Contribution to Education. She is now the Felton G. Clark Professor of Education at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she lives.

Customer Reviews

Love the book and the author and good read. recommend for anybody in the field of education to read.
Tamika
Below are examples: - Speaking to children too much results in those kids turning into adults who make meetings run too long.
M. Tokugawa
I agree with the premise of this book, I just don't agree with the writing style of the author and the lack of solutions.
Adam

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 49 people found the following review helpful By E. Johnson on March 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
About a quarter ways in, Lisa Delpit pretty much nails the matter:

"My point is that children come to us having learned different things in their four-to-five years at home. For those who come to us knowing how to count to one hundred and to read, we need to teach them problem solving and how to tie their shoes. And for those who already know how to clean up spilled paint, tie their shoes, prepare meals, and comfort a crying sibling, we need to make sure that we teach them the school knowledge that they haven't learned at home. Unfortunately, though, different types of [knowledge] are not equally valued in the school setting."

Said differently, the need is for public education to become ever more capable to absorb and continually learn from all the variety kids show up with at school each day.

(Where Delpit uses the word "skill," I prefer the word "knowledge" for the simple reason "skill" arguably is a pejorative in corporate-speak used to enforce managerial hierarchy: executives have knowledge, worker bees have skill. As knowledgeable worker bees can be upsetting to corporatism, knowledgeable students and teachers can be upsetting to educratism.)
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie on April 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Very thought provoking. A must-read for all educators. Those who have adopted Ruby Payne as the authority on the education gap need to read this and adjust their thinking.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ready Mommy on January 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
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 . . .
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Donahue on December 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My principal ordered some books for us to read to help close our achievement gap and I chose this book to read. I'm not going to lie - it's not some groundbreaking book telling you something you didn't already know as an educator, however the book does raise some good points. It's a relatively quick read.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By M. Tokugawa on April 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book to find solutions to continuing problems at our school and was not only disappointed with Delpits one-dimensional solution, but found her book to be disorganized. She attacks the same straw man (teacher and societal racism) and repeats her only solution (make curriculum relevant to the students)in each chapter. She sprinkles in some best practices which can be found everywhere, but spends most of the book on poorly illustrated anecdotes and expressing her vitriolic hatred of innate ability (which has been debunked repeatedly over last two decades).

She avoids the topic of behavior management almost completely. This was shocking to me because simply changing the topic in all core subjects to culturally relevant material is not going to solve every problem. This, however, is the only solution she proposes.

Some of her ideas were poorly thought out and sounded more like musings rather than useful information. Below are examples:

- Speaking to children too much results in those kids turning into adults who make meetings run too long.

- She mixes up talking at children with talking with children.

- Mentions that organization and reducing transition times is a waste of students time.

- Merely ostracizing students or yelling at them will get them in line.

This book is scatter brained, unfocused and extremely short on solutions. The research and best practices are useful, but can be found in more well articulated sources. I recommend not wasting your time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian on February 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book will change you. Easy to follow, well-referenced, and no holds barred, Delpit addresses the issues at hand in our country that have historically and currently prevented social justice in the education of African-American boys and girls.
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