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Because of the Kids

Facing Racial and Cultural Differences in Schools

Jennifer E. Obidah Karen Manheim Teel Susan L. Lytle Marilyn Cochran-Smith

144 pages
Teachers College Press
This fascinating account details the story of two teacher-researchers—Jennifer, who is African American, and Karen, who is White—as they set out on a collaborative three year study to explore the impact of racial and cultural differences in Karen’s urban middle school classroom. Not anticipating that their own differences would become a threat to their project, the two women describe how they learn to confront and deal with the challenges they face so that they can work together. Their study presents the difficulties and importance of collaborations between teachers from different racial and cultural backgrounds, as well as keen insights into how race and culture evolve in teacher-student interactions. Of particular interest is an interview with the authors by Lisa Delpit and Dr. Delpit's analysis of their experience. Teachers and researchers will also find valuable practical advice about conducting cross-cultural collaboration and suggestions for persevering during difficult times.
Author Bio
Jennifer E. Obidah is an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, U.C. L. A. Since 1969 Karen Manheim Teel has been a classroom teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area and currently is an adjunct faculty member at Holy Names College in Oakland, California.