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Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 38 reviews
on August 25, 2013


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on October 23, 2005
Delpit pulvarizes us with her brick-hard words about how teachers (both Black and White) must re-negotiate and re-align their paradigms regarding how to plan to teach minority children, especially those whose native tongue differs from English.

Please read this book carefully and do not allow her remarks (some of which may sound racist to Whites) get in the way of the main idea: all teachers of all colors need to understand how to improve literacy for minorities.
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on August 22, 2004
I m so enlighted thanks to this book. Delpit encourages teachers to get to know the culture, teachers within that culture, and parents.

I got the book from the library, but now I'm going to purchase my own copy.

A book like this will cause controversy. But I agree it deserves every award it has won.

What she says is true... it take time, effort, and patience to get understand how to reach OTHER PEOPLES children.
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on March 23, 2006
This book arrived in perfect condition, on time, and it was interesting as well!
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on April 27, 2003
First I will state that I am not anti-black. My principal is black, our elementary supervisor is black, and I teach in a school in which the majority of students is black. I do not teach black kids or white kids ... I just teach kids. I do agree with Delpit there should be differences in educational methods for low-socioeconomic students and high-socioeconomic students - regardless of race. That is basically where my agreement with Delpit ends. This book is very biased and anti-white. This book gives a very skewed view of white teachers. While I do agree that there are some white teachers who hold prejudices against black kids - and there are some black teachers who hold prejudices against white kids - it is not the majority as Delpit would have you believe.
Delpit denounces white teachers for thinking that black students are different from white students and then goes to great lengths and into great detail to specify just how different black children are. She seems to want teachers to act "black" to educate black children. She also seems to think that rules and regulations are a "white" practice.
Delpit implies that white teachers are racist and don't educate black children properly. In reality, white educators' hands are being tied because (as described by Gilbert Sewell):
"Shivering at the prospect of being called racist, some teachers are unable to hold nonwhite youngsters to strict academic account. As a result of all this, any teacher with exacting standards runs the risk of interference from students, parents, administrators, and colleagues, all of them ready to challenge the instructor's informed opinion. Not surprisingly, as more teachers withdraw from their traditional positions as standard-setters for a younger generation, many students grasp the fact that they have the power to defy, circumvent, or ignore adults in schools."
Delpit implies that white teachers cannot "control" black students. The idea that teachers have to "control" students is absolutely erroneous. It's easy to blame one's actions on someone else. The key to any civilized society is SELF-CONTROL. What happens to these children who need "control" when they have no one there to "control" them? Perhaps that is why (as Delpit states) that one in four black males is "involved with the prison system." Gilbert Sewell states:
"Effective learning environments require, first, self-control, respect for adults, and love of work on the part of young people. Modish adults who remain hostile or neutral to such primary values do the schools and children no good."
As far as student rights are concerned, Mr. Sewell states:
"...the never distant threat of lawsuits made school officials squirm at-or refuse to take-punitive action against even very disruptive or defiant students, especially if the administration was white and the student body nonwhite. Legal constraints on educators and the collateral hesitancy of adults in schools to enforce institutional rules became widely shared items of knowledge among young people. The most cynical of these students concluded correctly that no matter how annoying or depraved their conduct, school officials could not in practice deny them the "right" to go to school."
Far from being "racist" as Delpit asserts in this book, the feelings and beliefs she describes have more to do with class than race. According to Mr. Sewell:
"...urban middle-class whites have resolutely refused to send their children to schools where most pupils are black or Hispanic. Why? The reason is class much more than racial friction. Working-class and middle-class parents of any race generally insist that their children attend school with classmates raised in families where scholastic achievement and good manners are prized. They will not willingly transfer their children from high-achieving to low-achieving or from safe to unsafe schools, even when the government orders them to do so. Furthermore, they bitterly resent government fiats that seem to imperil their own child's future in order to provide opportunities for other people's children."
"Above all, urban schools have faced increasing numbers of lower-class students who have trouble learning. When frustrated or alienated, these pupils frequently disrupt classrooms, make schoolyards unsafe, and flamboyantly ignore middle-class educational values. Not unexpectedly, downtown districts have tried to accommodate these unhappy newcomers, gradually adapting to negative attitudes toward schooling. Many city educators, accustomed to home climates unsupportive of academic achievement, have introduced numerous schoolhouse social services to make up for parental inability or negligence, have taken ambivalent postures toward the value of "white culture," and have tolerated student behavior that middle-class parents find offensive or immoral."
Delpit complains about school standards for minorities, but, in reality, minorities have demanded different standards in such ways that it makes it practically impossible for schools to legally uphold high standards for every student. Sewell says:
"...making distinctions of any kind is likely to arouse the suspicion and anxiety of those who believe that their own interests will be jeopardized by the resulting standard. In a relativistic age standard-setting rarely occurs without complaints from individuals that guidelines are arbitrary or brutalizing. Many minority groups try to make the point that color-blind standards are discriminatory. Chagrined by inequalities and intimidated by pressure groups, many education leaders find it personally or politically impossible to install standards designed to make every individual try his best to achieve value or excellence against impartial or at least normative models."
"In schools [students] base their actions in the language of personal entitlements and rights; many are well versed in the limits on the powers of their educators. These students demand good grades for little achievement; in matters of discipline or possible failure, they always want another chance. When school personnel are not accommodating to individual wants, their aggressive challenges often lead to disruptions centered on alleged adult insensitivity."
All of the things that Delpit complains about in this book are things that came about because minorities demanded them.
All in all, it's best not to waste money on this book. It's more of the same arguments and postures that led to the state that schools are in today.
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