NYSASCD Journal

Spring/Fall 2020

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9 Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education (CR-SE) Dr. David E. Kirkland Teaching and learning are political acts. We cannot talk about them without talking about power. Like other systems of power, who is recognized in education is defined by who is seen and heard, and who is seen and heard are too oen students who come from "the culture of power" (Delpit, 1988). In her 1988 article "Silenced Dialogue," Lisa Delpit explains, "the rules of the culture of power are a reflection of the rules of the culture of those who have power," who, according to her, "are frequently least aware of—or least willing to acknowledge—its existence" (p. 282). Delpit's solution to the problem of power is fully inadequate. She suggests, "If you are not already a participant in the culture of power, being told explicitly the rules of that culture makes acquiring power easier" (p. 282). If the cult(ure) of power is a problem—the root cause apparatus for maintaining social inequity—then why would we want to directly teach it? Why would we want to perpetuate a system that placates the fundamental idea of very problematic social hierarchies, such as white supremacy and structural racism? Instead of directly teaching the codes of power, culturally responsive-sustaining education (CR-SE) is about teaching to directly disrupt them. It considers what does it mean to "explicitly teach" non-white students that white cultural practices equal power and learning those practices is a way Dr. David E. Kirkland is the Executive Director of e NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and e Transformation of Schools, and associate professor of English and Urban Education at NYU's Steinhardt School. He is also an activist and educator, cultural critic and author. Dr. Kirkland earned his PhD from Michigan State University and his JD from the University of Michigan.

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