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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Delpit Reading Quote Format

Quote #1 p.25:
"The upper and middle classes send their children to school with all the accoutrements of the culture of power; children from other kinds of families operate within perfectly wonderful and viable cultures but not cultures that carry the codes or rules of power."

In this quote, Delpit  is saying that upper and middle-class children already know how to act within their "culture of power," whereas children from other cultures are not always so sure how to act.  She suggests that this is the reason that upper and middle-class children do better in school, bercause they know the "codes."

Quote #2 p. 31:
"In this country, students will be judged on their product regardless of the process they utilized to achieve it.  And that product, bases as it is on the specific codes of a particular culture, is more readily produced when the directives of how to produce it are made explicit."

Delpit says that in the end, the process by which students acquire knowledge is not really important--students will be judged on the final product.  She further states that students will get to the final product only if the rules and directions are made clear to them.  This is her theme throughout the article--that children of color often mistake a directive for a suggestion because it is stated in language with which they are unfamiliar.

Quote #3 p.36
"Her indirectness and soft-spokenness may indeed be as I suggested earlier, an attempt to reduce the implication of overt power in order to establish a more egalitarian an nonauthoritarian classroom atmosphere."

This quote ties in nicely with quote #2.  Delpit states that liberal educators often "speak softly" on purpose in order to "de-emphasize their authoritative presence in the classroom.  Thus, by speaking softly, students from some cultures and backgrounds do not take the teacher's words as a directive--they may even perceive the teacher as weak.

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