Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom (Delpit)

I resisted this book for a long time. I’m not sure why, though I suspect it has something to do with my doubt about whether teaching other people’s children was any different than teaching my own. But I’m attending a conference in a few weeks, and Delpit’s giving the keynote, so I figured this was kind of my homework.

I’m older now. I know there’s a difference, and I wish I had read this years ago.

I have learned about lenses and struggled to value different literacy traditions. Delpit’s the first person I know of to challenge the writing process and the overall ideas of fluency, and her arguments have got me thinking.

The debate in English departments about what to teach will never end, and it shouldn’t. But it’s time to turn more of our attention to how to teach, and Delpit asks us to check with the people of her title about how to best accomplish that. Seems quite reasonable. Like I said, I wish I’d read it a long time ago.


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