Paley White Teacher Chapters 15-21 Everyone Has Knowledge

Paley, V. G. (2000). White teacher. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.


Reflection on Chapters 15-21:


It’s interesting – with this set of chapters, I did not mark any specific quotations that stood out to me. Instead, three thoughts came to mind. The first was when Paley talked about the imaginary play and the doll center. As she was describing the kids and how they acted out different knowledge that they held about their own lives as they tried to make meaning of social experiences. A connection I made was with regard to the residents. I had this vision in my mind of I wonder what the residents would say about their lived experiences in the Residency Program. Dramatic play can be very insightful and it made me wonder about the insight I could gain from learning about the residents’ experience.


The second thought that struck me was how Paley made the point to show that everyone has knowledge – even Sylvia. While that knowledge may be different and not what would be considered “normal” by some, for her, her knowledge is “normal.” Recognizing that everyone has value and that his/her knowledge is valued is something I espouse, so I really connected to this example that Paley shared.


Finally, last week in our study group discussion one person remarked about the amount of attention Paley gives to race and she wondered if it was Paley was paying too much attention to race. It seems as if Paley is reflecting on her experiences constantly, and after reading this group of chapters, I did wonder sometimes why Paley chose to highlight some instances over others. I wish that she would include some more reflection on some of the experiences. I feel like she leaves too much room for interpretation on the reader’s part, and I would love to know more of her thinking.