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 To teach and reach the African American Population 
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Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 10:00 am
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Location: Newton-Conover Middle School- Newton, NC
As I read Delpit's book, I am in total agreement with the approach she suggests for teaching African-American students. Focusing on skills, in a relevant context, and being more direct were strategies I employed with this population during my teaching years. However, one thing I found to be contrary to Delpit's experience is that of the direct tone used toward the African-American students in regard to behavior. Delpit claims that African- American parents say that their kids listen to them at home, because they do not ask the kids to do something, they tell them to. In my experience, I have found that African-American students say that the reason they were sent to the office is that the teacher told me to be quiet (or whatever the directive was), and I did not do it because the teacher didn't ask me to, they told me to. The students would claim that a teacher telling them to do anything was "disrespecting" them and they would not do anything someone "tells" me to do! Just wondering if any of you have came across this same type of situation?

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Amy E. Wilson


Mon Dec 01, 2003 1:13 pm
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Amy, I find myself in the same situations. Often times African American students come to the office upset because they were told to do something rather than asked to do so. My students find this type of behavior disrespectful and degrading, as if they were not as "good" as their classmates.


Tue Dec 02, 2003 11:50 am
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I wonder if it is the older students who prefer being asked, since it is more respectful for all of us to be politely asked than to be ordered about. Perhaps it is the really young children who "don't connect" with a vague "Is that where the scissors belong"?

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Joyce Jarrard


Wed Dec 03, 2003 6:45 pm
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