Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom, Updated Edition
Winner of an American Educational Studies Association Critics’ Choice Award and Choice Magazine’s Outstanding Academic Book Award, and voted one of Teacher Magazine’s great books,” Other People’s Children has sold over 150,000 copies since its original hardcover publication. This anniversary paperback edition features a new introduction by Delpit as well as new framing essays by Herbert Kohl and Charles Payne.
In a radical analysis of contemporary classrooms, MacArthur Award–winning author Lisa Delpit develops ideas about ways teachers can be better cultural transmitters” in the classroom, where prejudice, stereotypes, and cultural assumptions breed ineffective education. Delpit suggests that many academic problems attributed to children of color are actually the result of miscommunication, as primarily white teachers and other people’s children” struggle with the imbalance of power and the dynamics plaguing our system.
A new classic among educators, Other People’s Children is a must-read for teachers, administrators, and parents striving to improve the quality of America’s education system.
this book is not anti-white--it's the answer we have sought
By Virginia Coklow - March 9, 2003
I think a lot of people have read this book with a defensive attitude and have totally misunderstood it. If we want to be better educators, we need to listen with an open mind and humble attitude. Pay attention to Dr Delpit's life story--she is not coming from an anti-white perspective; she is coming from the perspective of one who has made the same mistakes that we as white educators tend to make. She has a lot of relevant life experience AND relevant research and theory. What's more, her words fit perfectly with everything I have observed. As a white person from upper-class background who has been trying to "make a difference," and has been bewildered when my best efforts still seem to fail to reach some kids, I felt that this book was the answer I have been seeking for years. If you think you already know everything you need to know, don't bother reading this review or the book. But if you keep questioning why African-American kids fail in such dramatic numbers, and if you... read more
By Mike MacFerrin - May 30, 2001
Currently a recent college graduate from a predominantly-white Midwestern background, this book got me on a serious soul-searching thought process. This fall, I will teach high school students from a culture considerably different from my own... a Public School in the primarily Cajun and Creole areas of Southern Louisiana (where Lisa Delpit was raised!). I'd always thought I could rely on my own memories of great teachers from my childhood to guide me in my own techniques. This book opened my eyes to the fact that my own assumptions are based in my own culture. Effective methods of learning, communicating, and especially TEACHING children of other cultures can and probably will vary significantly from my own.I think a previous reviewer seriously misjudged Ms. Delpit's intent by saying she implies "we need to separate our students by cultural backgrounds to teach them individually using different approaches." Far from that, Ms. Delpit simply explains that we need to... read more
Other People's Children was Transformative
By J. Mills - October 27, 2005
I am a teacher and a Ph.D. student in education, and of all of the hundreds of articles and books I've read about education, Other People's Children has been one of the most useful, both in terms of my intellectual development and also in practical, common-sense classroom strategies. If you are an educator who is ready to stop blaming your students' parents for everything your students do wrong and who is ready to start asking what YOU can do to help your students achieve more, this book is an excellent choice for where to start.
Of particular interest were sections describing how well-intentioned teachers (not "the enemy" as another reviewer grossly mischaracterized) often enact policies that end up handicapping students who come from different backgrounds. Delpit describes the policies and the good intentions that led to them but also what the unintended consequences were and suggestions for how to deal with those consequences. Other helpful topics include descriptions... read more
A teacher describes her three years teaching Haitian children in an inner-city preschool. Using her own classroom research, the book explores how teachers find ways to listen closely to children from ...