Cristen SchwabScholarly Journal ArticleDelpit, L. (1996).The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Education Other People’sChildren. Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom, pages 21-47.
The Silenced Dialogue
constructed by Lisa Delpit, is an article discussing the power struggles of whites versus non-whites. Within the article, Delpit utilizes multipleexcerpts and perspectives from those whom have experienced power struggles on the both sides of the spectrum. Delpit's concern is that there exists a differing perspective ondebates over "skills" versus "processes," approaches to learning. This then leads to muchmiscommunication, thereby revealing a silenced dialogue hindering education in schools.Delpit believes that educating teachers and students to become ethnographers, in a truesense, can help to battle these power struggles.Theme: The Culture of Power:Using the theme "the culture of power," Delpit outlines five points of interest in relationto this silenced dialogue:1. Issues of power (occurs in the classroom)
Ex: Power of the teacher over the students, power of the publishers over books
2. "The culture of power" - there are required codes or rules for participation(occurs in the classroom)
Ex: Linguistic forms, communicative strategies, ways of dressing
3. The rules of the culture or power are a reflection of what those who have power practice (occurs in the classroom)
Ex: Success in institutions is predicated upon acquisition of those in power,upper- middle class kids come equipped with culture power, and other's do not.
4. If not already a participant in the culture of power, being told explicitly therules of that culture makes acquiring power easier (seldom addressed inschools)
Ex: Members of a culture transmit information implicitly to co-members. Taboo,one has to have a lifetime of leisure of "immersion" to learn these.
5. Those with power are frequently least aware of its existence, those with less power are often most aware of its existence (seldom addressed in schools)
Ex: Explicit communication when in power, indirect communication when not in power. Children's success has less to do with instructional efficacy, but moreto do with explicit control exhibited by the teacher.
Implications For Improving Instruction:
Point 1: I know that power will always exist in some form, yet as the teacher, Ihold the responsibility of being aware of this for the lesser effect on my students. For example: if I pick a text book for my students, I need to be aware of the grade level of reading this requires and if all of my students will be able to benefit from this piece of work. Although the publishers hold the power over that book, I as the teacher take someof that power away by simply analyzing what a best fit for my students is. This can be