February 9, 2014
Are You Listening? Or Hearing?
While reading Lisa Delpits piece “The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People’s Children” I had to go in with my mind open and ready to look at all aspects. After reading the first piece in my first journal, my eyes starting opening to the aspects and now I am approaching everything knowing, my view necessarily isn’t the correct view. But once I started reading this piece, I had to reread certain paragraphs because I kept forgetting what race was being talked about, or what kind of examples she was trying to use, but once reading through it one or two extra times it started to make more and more sense. One of the main lines in this piece, one that really stuck with me was that “those with power are frequently least aware of-or less willing to acknowledge its existence. Those with less power are often most aware of its existence.” I could reflect on just this one quote in many more ways than one. This does not only apply to race and power of the culture, but it can even go down to who has power when it comes to “popularity” throughout school, it could also go towards power on a sports team, the one with the most skill. But always when you feel like you are not “in charge” or feel behind where everyone else is, you realize the power that the others have just because of what they have, whether its skill, friends, etc.
With RIC being my third college, I have been in many different environments, from living in a dorm as a freshman, to going to a community college, to now being here at RIC living off campus. But one thing is always the same, the so called “power.” One of my first experiences in college really opened my eyes, because at Dean College I felt there were less white people at the school rather than those of colors. From the classroom to both teams, I could see power being shown all over the place. To the kids on the team who felt as if coach wanted them there most, or had the most previous success felt as if they were above everyone else and had more power over us when no one really had any power over another teammate. This was me being inside the so called “power circle” and seeing where people thought their power mattered. But not only on the same team, but even when it came to other teams, since the football team was the biggest and one of the most successful, the athletes felt as though the college was theirs. But that was me looking at them from the outside looking in. which like Delpit said those with less power are most aware of its existence. This made me realize how it could be pushed onto those students who did not play sports, how much power they felt we thought we had.
But also like Delpit said, which I feel was common throughout not only my college time, but even my time in high school is the power the teacher has over the students. I feel as though this is a norm for every classroom and a way for a more successful class. But I can say being in this class, where the power is still in the professor’s hands over the students, you still allow us to have a lot of power in the classroom. A type of power we do not normally get in a classroom, but we have more than a voice in class, we have identities because of how many times are voices are allowed to be heard in class.
Going through Delpit’s five aspects, I could write a couple examples for every step because of how true this power and silence really is. The second aspect is about the codes and rules in power, “culture of power” which is something I know all of us can relate to seeing our first classes we talked about SCWAAMP. And another aspect of how the culture of power reflects in the rules and codes that I have never realized but it has always been right in my face. Reading textbooks, reading books, science books, all our books throughout high school, the main characters were for the most part white, as well as others in the stories, it was always about white people. It is crazy how much reading certain pieces can really change your views on things and I know that is the point of all these pieces and it is doing more work on me than I could ever imagine. Not only change your view, but make you realize what is really happened behind the “blinders”