Thursday, December 18, 2014

Second Author Connection - Delpit

Throughout my experience at Mary Fogarty Elementary I witnessed several Delpit moments. I recently presented my Service Learning project with Karissa and we believed that Lisa Delpit would disagree with the way we handled our experiences. Delpit believes that teachers should teach the rules and codes of power to their students. For example, rule number four is "If you are not already a participant in the culture of power, being told explicitly the rules of that culture makes acquiring power easier." Delpit also states that "These issues include: the power of the teacher over the Students; the power of the publishers of textbooks and of the developers of the curriculum to determine the view of the world presented: the power of the state in enforcing conclusory schooling; and the power of an individual or group to determine another's intelligence or "normalcy.""

In my first grade classroom, I witnessed not just one, but several Delpit moments. The teacher explicitly told her students the rules of the classroom and how they should behave each day. The rules are posted in the front of the classroom actually. I also observe the routine of the students. They know to sit up straight, put their hands together, and keep quiet when the teacher asks who is showing 'ready'. They know where to line up and in what order when going to the bathroom or to lunch as a class. They know that the teacher is in charge and that is because of the rules of Delpit. Fridays are the classes main testing day each week. When the test needs to be completed in a certain time frame, Miss Johnson sets a timer in the front of the classroom. Once this timer goes off, the students know to put their pencils down and hand their test in. This is because Miss Johnson taught them explicitly to do so. Miss Johnson has great control over her classroom and much of that is because of the rules and codes of power from Delpit. After observing this classroom for several weeks, it was clear that much of the teaching strategies were influenced by Lisa Delpit. 

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