Monday, May 30, 2011

Delpit Post- Hyperlinks

Institutional Racism in Schools and what Lisa Delpit has to say

This reading examines the effects of the culture of power on the educational system of the United States. In this reading, Lisa Delpit argues that there is a culture of power present in the educational system and that the achievement gap between white students and students from racial and ethnic minorities is partly a result of this culture of power. White teachers, even if they are well-meaning, may not have the skills necessary to adequately educate children of minority. Lisa Delpit states that, in educating ethnically and racially diverse students, people with the same background as the students should have the biggest voice in how to educate them (not the white teachers/members of the culture of power).  However, because of the power discrepancy, often times the voices of such people are lost even though they are the ones with the exact expertise and experience needed.  Only in truly listening to these alternative, differing, or dissenting voices, and providing them with a forum to be heard, can reform come about.

The following is a video on institutional racism in schools.  Institutional racism is a way that what Lisa Delpit calls the culture of power exerts power and influence of minority groups in the educational environment.

Current Events and discussion on institutional racism in schools
In searching the internet for further information on this topic, I came about a variety of information on the internet.  It was interesting to me that there was such a plethora of information on the topic, which made me think about how truly relevant the reading is to current educational practice.  The first piece of information I came across was the work of Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings. In what she calls "culturally relevant teaching,"  Dr. Ladson-Billings also discusses the idea that students should be taught in a way that is relevant to their own cultures. 

I also discovered some other articles and information that I thought demonstrated Lisa Delpit's point well.  When we hear about racial discrimination in schools, our minds tend to go to what we learned in history about segregation, etc.  I do not think many people realize that this is a current problem, not just one confined to history.  The following are some news articles about current events surrounding this topic.

Alabama's method of funding schools challenged in court for racial discrimination

The above article  is about how Alabama's funding model does not provide enough money to certain school districts that are mainly comprised of the poor and minority demographic.

Racism in Schools: Unintentional But No Less Damaging

The above article is about the dangers of unitentional racism found in current day schools.

Finally, I also wanted to begin to search for ways that I could become a teacher who is more able to teach a diverse group of children.  The following is a start of some information I found.  I hope that this class helps provide me with more tools on this subject, but also teaches me how to evaluate the tools that I do find to determine if they are useful or not.

Now what?  How to use culturally responsive teaching to off-set the impact of institutional racism in schools

Race and poverty don’t need to be the elephants in the classroom. As culturally responsive teaching takes root, these issues can actually help your students learn.

Monday, May 23, 2011

About Me

My name is Amanda and I am a special education teacher in North Smithfield.  I work with students at the K-3 level and this is my third year teaching.  I am currently pursuing a masters degree as a reading specialist.  In my free time I enjoy going on vacation, walking my dog, and going to the gym.