Welcome to the GBJCL Bookclub! In this blog series, I post monthly reflections on books related to education. I encourage you to join in the conversation, regardless of whether you’ve read the book, on Facebook or below.
This month’s book is Multiplication is for White People: Raising Expectations for Other People’s Children by Lisa Delpit.

In Multiplication is for White People: Raising Expectations for Other People’s Children, Author Lisa Delpit argues that schools can and should compensate for the skills and strategies that low-income students may not receive at home. This is a complicated charge and Delpit offers this interesting analogy as an access point:

I am reminded of my own experience with my daughter in softball…. Since my own knowledge of the sport did not extend beyond the names of the bat and ball, I was amazed that after two practices my seven-year-old actually knew where left field was! After practice, the coach came to talk to the parents. He told us that we needed to “work with” our kids at home, practicing softball skills and going over the rules. My first thought was panic, my second was, ‘Look, I get her here; you’re the coach. It’s your job to teach her. I can’t do a thing.’ Suddenly I understood fully what many parents who are not school-savvy or educated themselves must think about schools and teachers who insist that they ‘work with’ their children at home! If the coach didn’t teach Maya, there was little hope for my child’s future soft-ball career. (page 72)

To hear more about Delpit’s theories, see our blog.

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