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The Culture of Power

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on 12 November 2014

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Transcript of The Culture of Power

The Culture of Power
Kathryn Chryssikos,
Therese Marshall,
Jennifer Melitski,
Merita Palushi

Record the answers you choose!
We will review the answers at the end.
First, see what you know
Lisa Delpit (1988)
Lisa Delpit (1988)
5 aspects of power
Basil Bernstein (1971)
Delpit vs. Bernstein
Noddings (2005)
Quiz review
(5:20 - 7:48: after discussing her experience teaching Native Alaskan children.)
In a classroom where direct instruction and explicit control by a teacher was exhibited, all children—even those who were “culturally deprived”—could learn to read using that teacher’s methods in teaching reading by following the principles of Distar.

Liberal educators
do not favor
direct instruction in general nor Distar but
Black parents fear that if their children do not have direct instruction, they will not be successful in a “white man’s world”.

Non-white teachers are
left out
of the dialogue about how to best educate children of color.

School personnel fail to understand
the reasons why parents from low socioeconomic backgrounds cannot change their home life to facilitate their child’s learning.

Is power a bad thing?
Members of any culture transmit information implicitly to co-members

When communicated effectively, learning the rules of the culture of power becomes easier

Members who learn the rules are able to adapt more comfortably to their surroundings

If you are not already a participant in the culture of power, being told explicitly the rules of that culture makes acquiring power easier.
Success in school is predicted upon the acquisition of those who are in power

Children from middle-class homes tend to do better in school than those from non-middle-class homes because the culture of the school is based on the culture of the upper and middle classes—of those in power

The rules of power are a reflection of the rules of the culture of those who have power

Linguistic forms and communicative strategies

Ways of talking and ways of writing

One must speak and write in a
grammatically correct way in order to gain power

There are codes of rules for participating in power; that is, there is a “culture of power”
Lisa Delpit claims that aspects of power have created the schism between liberal educational movements and that of non-white, non-middle- class teachers and communities.

Delpit states that The Culture of Power represents white teachers’ power in schools and the way they treat other people’s children, particularly children of color.

5 Aspects of The Culture of Power
Breaking the Silenced Dialogue

Acknowledging personal power and admitting participation in the culture of power is distinctly uncomfortable.

Those who are
less powerful
in any situation are
most likely
to recognize the power variable most acutely.

Those with power are frequently least aware of—or least willing to acknowledge—its existence. Those with less power are often most aware of its existence.
Power of the teacher over the students

Power of publishers of textbooks

Power of jobs in determining a person’s socioeconomic status.

Power of certain group of people in determining a person’s level of
intelligence or “normalcy”

Issues of power are enacted in the classroom
Child-centered, whole language, and process approaches are needed in order to allow a democratic state of free, autonomous, empowered adults, and because research has shown that children learn best through these methods (Deplit, 1988).

Teachers should seek out those whose perspectives may differ most, by learning to give their words complete attention, by understanding one’s own power, even if that power stems merely from being in the majority, by being unafraid to raise questions about discrimination and “voicelessness” with people of color, and to listen, no, to hear what they say.

Results of such interactions may be the most powerful and empowering union yet seen in the educational realm, for all teachers and for all the students they teach.

Basil Bernstein
What are elaborated and restricted codes?
Elaborated and Restricted Codes: Their Social Origins and Some Consequences

Interrelationships between social structure, forms of speech, and behavior regulation

Major components of children’s socialization

The way children act in physical and social settings are results of their cultural principles

Different social structures create their own requirements- linguistics, speech, socialization

Communications within various social structures are different

Vygotsky’s Social Learning Theory
e.g., “Do you come here often?” “S’nice floor?”
“ Bit crowded-n it?” “Band’s dead with it.”
Bernstein (1964)
Bernstein (1964) and Delpit (1988)
Delpit’s argument supports Bernstein’s claims
Delpit’s (1988) Aspect 1
: Issues of power are enacted in the classroom.
e.g., teachers to students, students to students, students’ socioeconomic statuses, classroom textbooks, social interaction

Bernstein (1964)
: Groups are formed through social interaction
School is a major environment for social interaction
Students’ linguistics are demonstrated throughout school
Social groups are established within schools due to various means of communication
If there are bigger social groups than others, they will be the predominant group and more “powerful”

Bernstein (1964) and Delpit (1988)
Delpit’s (1988) Aspect 2
: There are codes or rules for participating in power; that is, there is a “culture of power.”
Relate to linguistic forms, communicative strategies, and presentation of self; that is, ways of talking, ways of writing, ways of dressing, and ways of interacting.
One must speak and write in grammatically correct ways in order to gain power.

Bernstein (1964):
Social groups are formed on the basis of linguistics, means of communication, and behavior
Social group size depends on the population of individuals who speak in the same linguistics and share similar behavioral and communicative values
Power comes from the bigger or biggest social groups

Bernstein vs Delpit
Some of Delpit’s claims can be argued by Bernstein
Delpit’s (1988) Aspect 5:
Those with power are frequently least aware of—or least willing to acknowledge—its existence. Those with less power are often most aware of its existence.

Bernstein (1964)
may disagree:
Children learn linguistics at early ages
May not recognize the differences of how individuals talk to affect social grouping and formation
Those with less power may be aware of its existence from family members
Diversity can be recognized from different linguistics, however power cannot

The Answers to Your Quiz!
How could you forget, right?! Don’t change any of your answers!

All of the above

How did you do? Did you do as well as you expected?
Bernstein, B. (1964). Elaborated and Restricted Codes: Their Social Origins
and Some Consequences. American Anthropologist, 66(6), 55-69.

Delpit, L.D. (1988). The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating
Other People’s Children. Harvard Educational Review, 58(3), 280-298.

Noddings, N. (2005). Educating Citizens for Global Awareness. Teachers
College Press: New York, NY.

What Can We Do?
Noddings (2005) points out that "Although school curriculum treats all students as if they were White, middle-class, and native-born, demographics show that is not true in many of the nation’s public schools." (p. 134) As educators, it is our job to "recognize privilege" and "the multiple faces of students." (Noddings, 2005)

Create opportunities global awareness and celebrate student differences. Do not allow linguistics to be a boundary in student learning.

Educate yourself as both an educator and a person to become aware of student backgrounds and how they can affect learning, so you can create a positive classroom environment.

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