I just want to start by saying that I’m glad I’m not the only one who found this article to be a tough read. I can’t decide if it was Delpit’s vocabulary and sentence structure or just that she tended to bounce around with her ideas, but this article certainly took me some time to get through. Regardless, I found this article to be very powerful, but at the same time I found myself getting somewhat irritated with how the author was supporting her arguments. Maybe irritated isn’t the right word, but the article evoked some sort of emotion within me nonetheless.
About half way through the article I began to wonder why Delpit was (more or less) blaming things on race. She was explaining how teachers should adapt to the diversity of their classroom, which I agreed with; but I did not like how every time she mentioned a middle or upper class family, she counteracted the statement by saying something like “unlike their poor black counterparts”. Obviously I am paraphrasing, but I can’t seem to find the words to say what I want to say. She left me with the impression that if you were part of a working class family, that you were automatically a minority who was mistreated and misguided in the school district for the sole fact that you come from such a family. My family would probably be considered middle class, but I know that we are a working family as well, and I am not poor or undereducated. I guess what I’m getting at is that I found Delpit to place people in categories that did not necessarily exist. I found this surprising as well, because I just assumed that Delpit would try to persuade the reader away from believing in stereotypes, but she was not overly successful with this, in my opinion.
I guess I had to get that off my chest! I did appreciate this article as a whole, however…believe it or not. The support that Delpit uses from other teachers and students, like the actual dialogue about the language used in a book, helped the reader better understand what goes on within a school and between a teacher and student on a regular basis. I was confused at some points throughout the reading about whether or not Delpit was for or against a certain type of teaching, “process approach” is the phrase I believe she used. I hope to gain more clarification on this when we have a class discussion.
I realize now that I am just as all over the board with my response to this article as Delpit was as she wrote the article…and I’ll try to work on that for the next blog! To end this little venting session, I must say that this quote from page 46 really hit home for me, and I felt a connection to its meaning:
“We do not really see through our eyes or hear through our ears, but through our beliefs. To put our beliefs on hold is to cease to exist as ourselves for a moment-and that is not easy.”
I really loved this part of the article, probably because it is so true. People must realize that no matter what we hear or see on a daily basis, we factor in our personal beliefs into every single thing we do every day, whether we realize that we do it or not. Our beliefs about anything and everything are what shape us into the people we claim to be now and the people we strive to be in the future. It is just sad to think that a certain belief or ideal that one may hold true, could be the opposing deciding factor in a potentially beneficial situation.