Friday, February 7, 2014

“ You know how your mama used to say you listen to the radio, but you hear your mother?"

The reading “ The Silence Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People’s children definitely was not the easiest read. I found myself rereading different paragraphs and finding myself somewhat lost when trying to understand what author Lisa Delpit was saying. But eventually (after rereading a couple of times) and running through different points Delpit makes, I can say that many of the statements and opinions she has through the reading made me think. I decided to do a "quotes response" blog for this week.
The very first page she quotes a black woman teacher and the woman said, “ you know how your mama used to say you listen to the radio, but you hear your mother? Well they don’t hear me” (21). It is really sad to think that people have come to feel this way.  What is being said is heard but others do not absorb the words being said. I also made this the title of my post because even after reading the whole reading, this was what I kept going back to.

On page 24 there is a small list of the “ culture of power,” and the 5 aspects of power that follow. The one that I really took note of was “ Those with power are frequently least aware of – or least willing to acknowledge—its existence. Those with less power are often more aware of its existence” (24).  If you think about it…how many times have you yourself been in a position where someone has more power then you and you soon realize it’s a weird feeling not being in control or having someone else tell you what to do.  Delpit goes on to explain that, “ those who are less powerful in any situation are most likely to recognize the power variable most acutely” (26).  It makes sense and I could not agree more that when someone is in a position of power he or she is less likely to admit they have total power and try to hide their knowledge of it.  

The reading then begins to go into the student teacher relationship and on page 32 Delpit states, “ The teacher cannot be the only expert in the classroom. To deny students their own expert knowledge is to disempower them” (32).  I am a strong believer that student and teacher collaboration is something a classroom will always need and should have. Students offer opinions and creative ideas that help them engage in learning and become active learners.  The example author Delpit gives is, Amanda Brandscombe was working with students (classified as slow learners) and had them look at rap songs and figure out what the lyrics meant and figure out the patterns within the song. This decoding of songs and analysis done but the students helped the teacher to work her lesson of grammar and then Shakespeare’s plays (33).  This was a perfect example given of student and teacher showing power in an area of expertise.  In class I feel we could discuss why teaching styles between different teachers are the way they are.  How power affects people in many ways and not just in schools but in different areas. I wondered after reading, how different teachers create ways to connect to their students. I came across websites of how teachers create lessons that get their students involved and interested in the lessons by incorporating things they can relate to. I also came across websites on positive relationships between students and teachers and found this one of the teacher focusing on the goals of the students. This reading also shares the teachers working with different ethnicity's in the classroom and creating respect between the students and him or her as a teacher. Check it out!!


  1. Hey, I really liked that you used a quote from the text as your title of this post. That quote was one I kept going back to because it really helped me understand what the author was getting at when she was stating her argument. I also like that you used quotes from the text and gave us your thoughts and opinions about each one. Good post this week.

  2. Hi Jaclyn! I really liked your blog post! to begin with I found this article hard to read as well. I had to read it several times to get an idea of what the author was trying to say. The quotes you chose are some of the ones that really caught my attention as well. The quote you chose for your blog title, really made mink about what it shows, which is when people listen but they don't hear. As you said that quote made me understand the article better and I used as a reference to understand what the article was about.

  3. Hey! Well, like Stacey and Maritza said I also loved the quote you chose as your title and to focus on. When reading the article I too focused on this quote a lot. I also find it sad how people feel this way. It really opens your eyes to others perspectives. Great job!

  4. Hey Jackie, I too focused on one of the "categories" of the "culture of power". And I also thought the use of rap music to teach the different ways one can communicate was really brilliant. As one who has difficulty with poetry, I have the utmost respect for anyone that can understand the message. This would be a great way to engage a class of your own. . . imagine how excited kids would be if you asked them to name a popular song, and then used it as the focus for a lesson plan. Nice job!