ERIC Number: ED219468
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jun-1
Reference Count: 0
Bridging the Culture Gap in Inner-City Schools: A Summary and Critique of the Approach of Herbert Foster in "Ribbin', Jivin' and Playin' the Dozens."
In this paper, William Wilbanks discusses Herbert Foster's "Ribbin', Jivin', and Playin' the Dozens," a book on the relationship between inner city youth and their teachers. The book's title derives from three types of games often played in the classroom: ribbing, a verbal game of taunting other students or the teacher; jiving, which involves manipulative techniques to protect oneself from trouble; and playing the dozens, in which contestants insult one another until one gives up or resorts to violence. According to Wilbanks, Foster's thesis is that in inner-city schools there is a culture gap between largely black, lower class youth and their largely white, middle-class teachers. Students, behaving according to the rules of their streetcorner subculture, constantly play games to test teachers who misinterpret the games as forms of disruptive behavior. Hence, Foster maintains, educational failure is largely due to teachers' inability to understand the students' subculture. Wilbanks criticizes Foster as being rather too critical of the teacher, and as having neglected the students' role in understanding the teachers' perspectives. Moreover, Wilbanks notes that several of Foster's statements are insufficiently explained. Nevertheless, Wilbanks finds Foster's points valuable in understanding not only inner-city students but also criminals and prisoners who play similar games. (Author/MJL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Foster (Herbert)
Note: In: Woods, Sandra, Ed.; Samuda, Ronald, Ed. Perspectives in Immigrant and Minority Education. Washington, D.C., University Press of America, 1982. Paper presented at Perspectives on Urban Education: An Invitational Symposium (North Miami, FL, June 1, 1982).