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Other People’s Children : Pages 185-200. By Mona Aliari. Reflections on Other People’s Children by Herbert Kohl. Herbert Kohl is the author of more than forty books, including She Would Not Be Moved: How We Tell the Story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott .

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reflections on other people s children by herbert kohl
Reflections on Other People’s Children by Herbert Kohl
  • Herbert Kohl is the author of more than forty books, including She Would Not Be Moved: How We Tell the Story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
    • He is a recipient of the National Book Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award
    • He was founder and first director of the Teachers and Writers Collaborative in New York City
    • He established the PEN West Center in San Francisco, where he lives
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Reflections on Other People’s Children by Herbert Kohl
  • He first met Lisa Delpit through her writing.
    • Her articles in the Harvard Education Review struck him for their truth-telling, clarity, and powerful, accessible language.
      • He thought that the issues that she raised had to be articulated if progressive education was to remain a vital force in the American education.
  • He tracked down Lisa’s phone number and called and introduced himself.
    • They would talk almost every week about pedagogy and other things.
    • During this time they never met face to face
reflections on other people s children by herbert kohl4
Reflections on Other People’s Children by Herbert Kohl
  • He felt that Lisa’s work had to be available in every bookstore.
    • He convinced his editor to track her down and get her to sign a book contract.
  • He thinks that the book is capable of altering students’ perceptions and their idea of themselves as teachers.
    • Many white teachers take it as an attack on their capacity to teach students of color.
    • In his experience, OPC provokes argument, controversy, and disagreement.
    • Lisa makes it clear that the highest expectations for students’ achievement must drive educational work
  • He says “thanks to Lisa, we have an opportunity to move beyond failed practice and ideas and get back to work, renewed and hopeful.”
teaching the hard of head by charles m payne
Teaching the Hard of Head by Charles M. Payne
  • Charles M. Payne teaches African American studies, history, and sociology at Duke University
  • A man from California goes to see Payne because someone had told him that Payne would be interested in hearing his experiences as a first-year teacher.
    • He was upset with his colleagues, most of them teachers of color.
    • He went on about how unimaginative their lesson plans are compared to his.
    • His solution to the whole problem of inner-city education seems to be that all teachers should be like him. “Follow the White Knight”
    • Payne asked what the disadvantages of an elite university education were when working in the inner city, and he had to think hard about the answer. Payne believes that Elite Universities socialize students into thinking that the people with knowledge are people who look like them and talk like them. He believes that students who have gone to these prestigious schools are often the most obtuse and least self-aware.
teaching the hard of head by charles m payne6
Teaching the Hard of Head by Charles M. Payne
  • Payne believes that OPC is like a kind of aspirin for a lack of self-awareness.
    • The reader is introduced to so many viewpoints to which they are not usually exposed.
  • For most of Payne’s students, the most important function of OPC is that it opens up space for dialogues that have been forbidden, or at least rendered uncomfortable.
  • OPC puts race and difference in the center, legitimating the right of young educators to think about them.
  • Payne has occasionally met white teachers who were convinced that “Lisa Delpit doesn’t like white people”.
    • The critique in OPC is ultimately a critique of the blindness induced by privilege, and in the context of American schools, (relative) privilege is often white.
  • Payne doesn’t believe that this is a book that gives up on anyone, not white people and not poor children.
    • The book tells us that if we learn to question our presumptions, we all have a chance to make a difference. The more Payne thinks about it, the more he thinks that he would hire the young man from California (all original presumptions aside).
other people s children the lasting impact by patricia j lesesne
Other People’s Children: The Lasting Impact by Patricia J. Lesesne
  • Patricia J. Lesesne’s involvement in urban education has included providing diversity education services as well as creating and teaching social studies and literacy courses, and running community programs for urban high school and middle school students.
  • Patricia believes that Lisa Delpit articulated her most personal frustrations and struggles, as well as her professional and academic concerns, as a parent, teacher, researcher, and educational consultant.
  • Patricia believes that Delpit’s work has influenced the practice of both black and white teachers to such an extent that it frequently serves as an arbiter when disagreements arise, helping us to find an approach that is culturally affirming for poor children and African American children.
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Other People’s Children: The Lasting Impact by Patricia J. Lesesne
  • In all of the environments in which Patricia has worked, OPC has been in a unique position: it is used as a point of agreement where painful disagreements often abound around what to teach to urban children, who should teach it, how to teach it, and how to form partnerships with urban families and urban communities.
  • Patricia’s co-directors at her school (who had made Delpit’s book required reading for new teachers) were supportive about everyone educated themselves on the various cultures represented at their school.
  • Patricia believes that OPC provides her with a framework through which to confront her ignorance.
  • She believes that Delpit challenges her to know herself and her limitations, know her students and their needs, and to come to know the values of the adults in the communities from which her students come from, through close, honest relationships rooted in mutual respect.
discussion questions
Discussion Questions
  • What did you think of Other People’s Children overall?
  • Do you think that Other People’s Children has helped you in your future career as a school psychologist?