IN MANY WAYS, our reading this week from Kittle and Delpit say similar things, but there are differences sometimes subtle ones and sometimes unspoken ones.
Consider, also, the difference in the position of our two writers. Kittle enjoys a great deal of privilege for a public school teacher. As you will read in Write Beside Them, the course she is describing here is an elective writing course for seniors in high school--these are students who want to participate in this intensive writing experience. That said, and I want to be very clear about this, I don't think there is anything that she writes about that I think wouldn't work in any writing/reading classroom.
Delpit, a black scholar in the field of Rhetoric and Composition, was blasted for her book Other People's Children when it came out originally in the late 80s. This was the moment in literacy instruction where teachers and scholars were turning towards what we now call "process pedagogy." In Process Pedagogy, students were invited to write more freely, with seemingly less concern for the conventions of standardized written English. Delpit expressed concern for some aspects of the process movement for what it was doing for Black and Brown students in public school classrooms. It was many years after the publication of her research in schools with Black and Brown students that white scholars started to entertain the possibility that process was not the solution to every writing struggle in every writing classroom.
Compare and Contrast what Kittle and Delpit are telling us about how we bring students into the world of literacy. As we did for Week Three, please respond specifically and directly to the person who posts before you. If you are the first person to post, please respond to the last person, who posts (there are 12 people in our class). Once everyone has posted, you can feel free to respond to any of your classmates.
Ideally, by posting with purpose, you will make sure that, as a class, we have covered all of the most important takeaways from these to teacher/scholars. We will help each other learn by paying deep attention to what we each write.