Kelly Sassi, assistant professor in the School of Education and English department, and Amy Carpenter Ford, an assistant professor from Central Michigan University, co-wrote the article, “Authority in Cross-Racial Teaching and Learning: (Re)considering the Transferability of Warm Demander Approaches.”
The article compares a white teacher’s approach to authority with that of an African American “warm demander,” a style of teaching that includes assertive discipline, caring relationships and congruent interactional styles.
Ethnographic methods and discourse analysis illuminated how an African American teacher grounded her authority with African American students in shared culture, history and frame of reference. A comparative analysis makes visible what white teachers need to do differently to establish cross-racial authority with African American students, such as prioritize interpersonal relationships, communicate in culturally congruent ways, link care with justice, develop a critical race consciousness, ally with students and critique curriculum.
The article offers a reconceptualization of the warm demander relevant for white teachers. It was published in Urban Education in December.
Sassi also published a book review of “Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life,” which was published in the winter 2012 issue of Tribal College Journal.
The author of the book, Diane Wilson, explores the meaning of the Dakota “hunka,” or beloved child ceremony, as a counterpoint to historical trauma. One of the stories in the book is that of Clifford Canku, NDSU professor of practice. The book was published in 2011 by Borealis Books.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.