Award-winning book addresses challenges teachers and students from different cultural backgrounds face
By Kyle Miller and Jenny Power, ECMC Foundation
A must-read for educators for over 20 years, Lisa Delpit's Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom, looks into the challenges of cultural miscommunication and misunderstanding that face many teachers and students across the U.S. and abroad. For teachers in particular, this series of essays highlights the implicit biases present in the mainstream education system as well as within themselves, and how that disproportionately impacts students of color.
A highly-acclaimed piece, Other People's Children received the American Educational Studies Association's Critics' Choice Award and Choice Magazine's Outstanding Academic Book Award, and was voted one of Teacher Magazine's 'great books'.
Delpit's work was written in response to the existing racial gap between the student and teacher populations. When it was first published in 1995, students of color comprised 30 percent of the school-age population, but teachers of color comprised 10 percent of the teaching force. This gap has only grown: by 2014, students of color comprised of 50 percent of the student population, but teachers of color increased to just 18 percent.
This book remains relevant and challenges all educators to make sure that the voices and perspectives guiding educational change are representative of the populations they serve.