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Annotation Real 2 - Delpit L D(1988 The silenced dialogue...

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Delpit, L. D. (1988). The silenced dialogue: Power and pedagogy in educating other people's children. Harvard Educational Review, 58 (3), 280-298 . I found that this reading was very interesting and very relative to my own feelings as a student in elementary school. As the daughter of parents who immigrated to the United States only a few years before I was born, it was difficult for me to fall in place with the rest of American culture when “home” was run as though I were living in Taiwan. My parents have always been strict about me keeping my own culture, even though I was attending an American school. At home, Taiwanese had to be spoken, and Taiwanese manners were kept. Exposure to American culture was kept to a minimum – it amounted to about whatever was learned on television and books I might have owned. I found the author’s point about ambiguity of unspoken “rules” to be quite amusing, because I experienced an instance of this as a first grader. A female classmate asked me if I knew how to hold up my middle finger one day at the end of class, and said she couldn’t. I was completely confused by this response, and of course, I told her that this was easy and to prove that I could, I held up my middle finger. The classmate screamed for the teacher as I was “caught in the act” and the teacher proceeded to berate me in front of the entire class, yelling that she was sending me to the principal’s office the next time it happened. Of course, that would have been to no avail, because I would have sat in the principal’s office with no idea what on earth had happened. I actually did not know the meaning behind this gesture until I was in sixth grade and it was taught in social studies class as a lesson on taboo symbols and how they have been taken wrongly in history by persons of different cultures. Without a working knowledge of Anglo-Saxon values, I really wonder how my first grade teacher expected me to understand the meaning behind that. She had definitely met my parents, knew they spoke barely a drop of English, and yet she expected me to understand what was considered wrongdoing in mainstream culture. My teacher left in a big huff after yelling at me, leaving me expressionless and confused about what had just happened.
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