Lisa D. Delpit is an American educationalist and author. She is also an Eminent Scholar and Executive Director of the Center for Urban Educational Excellence at Florida International University in Miami, Florida and Felton G. Clark's recently retired Distinguished Professor at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Delpit attended Antioch College in Ohio, which was known at the time for its radicalism. After she obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, she was eager to utilize the progressive teaching strategies in her first teaching position at an inner-city open elementary school in Southern Philadelphia. The students were 60 percent poor black children from South Philadelphia and 40 percent white children from Society Hill.
Dissonance arose in Delpit's teaching when she realized her strategies did not work for all her students; her white students zooming ahead while her black students played games and learned to read, but only much slower than the white kids.
Later on, when Delpit attended Harvard Graduate School of Education to pursue her Master's and Doctoral degrees in Curriculum, Instruction and Research, she came to understand the importance of students learning to write in meaningful contexts. Delpit went on to explore the novel views acquired about culture and learning by way of a fellowship she received which facilitated her work in Papua New Guinea. This easternmost part of New Guinea served as a natural laboratory for Delpit, who spent approximately one year on the island evaluating school programs for the local government and conducting her own research.
Throughout her career, Delpit also functioned in a variety of other roles. As scholar, she served on the Commission for Research in Black Education (CORIBE). She also worked as teacher and Professor at Georgia State University GSU and later assumed the capacity of Professor at Florida International University College of Education(FIU).
As an African-American researcher, Delpit's emphasis has been elementary education with a focus on language and literacy development. She has also been concerned with issues relating to race and access granted to minority groups in education.
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