This paper identifies specific examples from an individual’s experience of at least two of the aspects of power that Delpit identifies. It also takes into consideration the roles that language plays in power relationships.
Examples of situations:
- Power is enacted in classrooms. A classmate of mine recently dropped out of school because the teacher frequently told him that he would not make it since he was doing poorly in his studies. He felt that the teacher was belittling him instead of encouraging and he opted to quit school instead of working hard, while the teacher wanted to challenge him so that he may improve in his studies.
- The policies of the culture power are a reflection of the culture of those who have power. A student from a different cultural background moved to our class at the beginning of this year, and we eagerly accepted him in our class and were ready to have him as our friend, but he had a certain problem he would always complain about. He thought that teachers were boring in class and that they don’t have much control in the class; in his culture, a teacher issues a directive as if it’s a request and everybody follows it. and yet. In our culture, it’s issued as a command which everyone has to follow.
The Role of Language in Power Relationship
Language plays a major role in how people interact with each other in their daily activities. The kind of language you use with different people in the same situation will have the different impact on them depending on how much power is depicted by the language you are using. For instance, if there are two people speaking to the same group of persons and one of the speaker asks the congregation “would you like to have a seat?” while the other speaker says “it is time for you people to sit down”. Both speakers are communicating the same thing here but the language they are using is different: one is a command-type while the other one is giving people an option. Most likely, people will respond well to the second speaker who gives a command because there is power in his statement.
Hence language is useful in power relationship in the sense that the way you use your language determines how much power and influence you will have on a certain group of people. Different groups of people will be influenced by different usage of language; therefore, it is important for a speaker or a teacher to know the type of congregation they are dealing with.
Why Power is an Important Aspect of Education?
Delpit in her research argues that power is a very crucial aspect in education since the way in which a teacher uses power in class determines how the students are going to respond and improve on their education and it also determines the attitude the students will keep. I totally agree with Delpit in her arguments that power influences education and culture plays a major role in what a person becomes and how they use language as a tool of communication.
Substance-oriented logic is concerned with cultural values and traditions and the logic of technical control is concerned with decisions being made, irrespective of the impact they will have on a certain group of people. Wong in her research is concerned that it is the logic of technical control that ultimately guides the decision-making process, she argues that this is tricky because in this logic issues that are linked to cultural politics and are viewed as forms of public contribution and are dissociated from professional benefit and decision-making process. These ideas are discussed, however, they are not the key element of the enterprise of preparing school information. History in this logic is presented as a clogged body of knowledge, obtained not for its own sake, but to excel in a weekly test or graduation assessment.
With this logic reviewers look for books that will assist in preparing the students for standardized assessments, though they may gauge neither knowledge nor skills. They refer to crucial elements despite the fact that the elements possibly will have modest connection to the precise content; teachers, on the other hand, are concerned with books containing end-of-chapter tests, but they might not check whether the tests are reasonable or useful for the students.
In this logic the decision makers divide substantive as well as technical logics towards avoiding setting contentious policies, hence the worth of education is assessed in terms of noncontroversial procedures like the standardised tests and the number of students who graduate. This logic also restricts individuality along with creativity due to technical, as well as helpful, priorities, which contain implications used for the content of books as well as for the sovereignty and empowerment of the teacher, as well as the student.
In light to Wong’s findings, Scott Gold found out that most of the textbooks used in most districts are not selected on the basis of how they will help the students become knowledgeable, morally upright people, but rather they are published to meet the standards of the community, to paste the community in a way that it is perceived or expected to be, but not the way it actually is. Gold also found out that publishers have no influence on the content they publish in books but rather they need to satisfy “many of the groups” wishes, hence they end up producing books that might not help the students. Gold also found out that once a book is purchased in Texas, it will end up in classrooms all over the nation, since publishers are unwilling to produce novel editions intended for minor states and due to this, students end up being taught the same thing even those things that don’t apply to them.