Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education
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Fairness - Delpit
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Author:  Lori Standish [ Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Fairness - Delpit

I found the Lisa Delpit readings from "Other People's Children" very interesting. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes I have hanging in my classroom. "Fair is not everyone getting the same the thing. It is everyone getting what they need to succeed". This makes a lot of sense to me. Some children are raised in a culture where "Formal English" is the norm and others are not. These children from formal English backgrounds do not need as much direct instruction to know what the teacher is asking or to be successful as poorer or minority children do. Children from these backgrounds need to understand that their comfortable way of comunicating is perfectly fine. They also need to be explitedly taught Formal English. This is what they need to be successfull in a society where "Formal English" is the most powerful. Therefore the instruction one student receives may not be the same as another but it is still fair. This is because both students have the tools that they need for success in the culture of power. School is the best and sometimes only place for students of a culture not in power to learn the "rules" of the power culture. It can not be taught at home because these parents don't know or understand these hidden rules of the culture in power.

Author:  Mitzi Story [ Mon Nov 27, 2006 9:24 am ]
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I agree with you Lori. We must teach the rules of the culture of power. School is a place where all students come together and interact with many different cultures. We must teach that all cultures are accepted while teaching them Formal English. This sometimes gets to be difficult. Many students see teaching Formal English as saying that the way their culture talks and writes is wrong. As the teachers of Formal English and the rules of the culture of power we must be very careful not to put other cultures down. Many students who are not from the culture of power come to our schools with a belief that they are not as good as other students. We must work to educate and build self-esteem in all children.

Author:  kelly drum [ Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:08 pm ]
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I agree Mitzi. I have never thought of these children as having a dialect. How true it is that we need to keep from criticizing them for not speaking formal english. I love the idea of valuing their dialect and teaching them the life skill of formal english.

Author:  mimi starnes [ Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:33 pm ]
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Speaking of dialect or accent, being from the south, I have a very distinctive accent. I was always self-conscious about it and never wanted to talk in front of people. Growing up and going different places, I have had people make fun of the way I talk. It wasn't until I took a linguistics class when working on my ESL licensure that I realized there is nothing wrong with having an accent. That doesn't mean I am dumb just because I have a strong, southern accent. After that, I don't mind talking in front of people because I realize that is part of who I am.

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