Lisa Delpit's The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People's Children
In her book, The Silenced Dialogue, she discussed the inherent problems with process-based learning techniques and how they help (or hurt) students from different backgrounds differently. She outlines the five rules of power that exist in our culture and argues that we need to be more aware of those rules in order not to allow students who are not in the culture of power to fall through the cracks.
When Delpit discussed the differences between DISTAR and the more progressive literacy education programs, as well as her discussion of teachers wanting "the same thing for everyone else's children as [they] do for [their own]", little alarm bells went off in my head. I liked her observation that the more progressive method of teaching literacy was only effective if students were familiar with the way words are formed before coming into that classroom. Wanting the same education for "everyone else's children" that a teacher does for his or her own implies they start at the same place with the same background.
This may be a jump, but I couldn't help but think about the recent move of Sesame Street to HBO over the summer. The show was intended to help students who did not have the opportunity for preschool or nursery school to prepare for kindergarten in order to level the playing field, if you will. When the show made the switch, NPR did a story that I thought was very interesting. It discusses how the network is air new episodes on HBO and reruns will be shown on PBS a few months later. My initial thought was that "at least it's not going off the air completely." Then I read about it on the less reputable site Slate.com and the author put it perfectly:
In short, Sesame Street was founded to help low-income kids keep up with their more affluent peers. That is literally why it exists. It succeeded beyond anyone's expectations. And now it is becoming the property of a premium cable network, so that a program launched to help poor kids keep up with rich kids is now being paywalled so that rich kids can watch it before poor kids can.
You can find the rest of the article here.