Five Aspects of Power in the Classroom

In her analysis of the culture of power, Delpit (1995c) has observed five aspects of power in the classroom:

Delpit (1995c) also argues that teachers need to explicitly teach children the codes needed to exist in the culture of power:

"Students must be taught the codes needed to participate fully in the mainstream of American life, not by being forced to attend to hollow, inane, decontextualized subskills, but rather within the context of meaningful communicative endeavors; that they must be allowed the resource of the teacher's expert knowledge, while being helped to acknowledge their own 'expertness' as well; and that even while students are assisted in learning the culture of power, they must also be helped to learn about the arbitrariness of those codes and about the power relationships they represent." (p. 45)

Finally, Delpit (1995b) suggests that teachers should create opportunities for more than one language and different forms of English to be used in their classrooms, not as a substitute for standard English but as an alternative means of expression and communication. She states: "All students deserve the right both to develop the linguistic skills they bring to the classroom and to add others to their repertoires" (pp. 67-68).

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