Friday, December 13, 2002

Appropriate education for poor children
and children of color can only be
devised in consultation with adults
who share their culture. Black parents,
teachers of color, and members of poor
communities must be allowed to
participatefully in the discussion of what
kind of instruction is in their childrens's
best interest. Good liberal intentions are
not enough
. In an insightful study
entitled 'Racism without Racists' Massey,
Scott and Dornbusch found that
under the pressure of teaching, and with all
intentions of 'being nice,' teachers
had essentiall stopped attempting
to teach black children.

From Other People's Children by Lisa Delpit

I stayed up way too late last night reading this book (and then laying awake thinking). I have not figured out how to get past my "good liberal intentions" to be an effective teacher in an inner city school. But I'm starting to understand some of the problems we have my little Academy - "good intentions" that hurt instead of help.