Are "other people's children" constructivist learners too?

Francis Bailey, Ken Pransky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In her book, Other People's Children, Lisa Delpit (1996) described how popular progressive pedagogies of that time like Whole language, while claiming to represent the best learning of all students, did not in fact match the learning needs of the culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students with whom she worked. She linked those pedagogies to dominant culture norms and argued that this type of mismatch is pervasive whenever dominant culture educational institutions teach children from nondominant communities. Despite the interest Delpit generated, current progressive pedagogies like Constructivism (Brooks & Brooks, 1993), which make similar "universalized" claims, have simply taken the place of the ones Delpit critiqued. Why is the field of education drawn to these pedagogies? Why do these pedagogies seem animated by such strikingly similar values and beliefs? The answer lies in an un derstanding that both learning theory and learning processes are inextricably and profoundly rooted in culture (Hollins, 1996; Nieto, 1992; Rogoff, 2003; Vygotsky, 1986).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalTheory into Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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