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An indepth view into today's diverse classrooms
on October 20, 1999
My interpretation of Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom is that Lisa Delpit is attempting to allow educators to realize what can be done to better educate all children no matter what nationality, ethnicity, gender, etc. Delpit also goes to explain how each individuals educational needs are different and how their needs should be met. The author divides the book into three main parts. Part one is entitled "Controversies Revisited" which contains several essays about literature and literacy. Part two, "Lessons From Home and Abroad" explains what an impact culture has on education in today's society. Delpit entitles part three "Looking to the Future" to indicate different ways society can make the changes necessary to teach within diverse cultures. Mainstream education can also be classified as dominant education. Today, the dominant culture is that of an urban professional and business population. These people are usually white, college educated, middle-class individuals. However, Delpit proves the majority of children in the classrooms today are black, low-income families. Throughout this book, Delpit tells us of several cases that prove what an impact our culture has on our education. Children of color tend to not have the same code of language and therefore lack the tools necessary to establish "Standard English." Delpit begins to tell us that without the basic knowledge and instructional skills, knowledge is limited to children of diverse cultures. She continues to tell us that we as educators are to set the same standards for each individual regardless of color. Not too many educators today pay attention to the basic skills and `steps' needed to build and enforce necessary knowledge to get through life. In today's society, an individual must be well educated and well informed of his/her surroundings. As a student and rising teacher, Lisa Delpit has opened my eyes to a series of problems involved in schools today. A lot of teachers are not worried about the future of each child. More are worried about just getting the child through his or her particular class. I strongly agree with Delpit's point of view in this particular book. We as teachers, parents, etc. must encourage all individuals to learn at their fullest capacities. There should be a code of learning yet each individual should be allowed to express their feelings and opinions through stories, experiences, etc. They should be allowed to use their own words, but we should be there to guide them in the right direction. We as educators should not constantly correct an individual but guide them into the same fluency of language allowing them to learn more about themselves and their world around them. Comprehension of this particular book was harder for me as a beginning educator. I do, however, recommend this book to those educators who have been involved in the field longer. I feel they are more in touch with the problems faced and are more apt to understand Delpit's point of view. I do believe that if I read this book again, I will be able to better understand and relate to Delpit's essays. Different views on American education are extremely important. It allows us as educators to recognize patterns, changes, or even solutions to problems that we as an individual may not have realized. Each opinion matters and should be voiced. I feel that there should not be one dominant culture. We should all be equal and just as important as the next.