Why are so many educators embracing hip-hop pedagogy?
One of the biggest factors behind so many people embracing hip-hop pedagogy as an effective tool to reach today’s students is because when we look at what the “system” values we see a lot of things that simply make us scratch our heads. For example, check out these numbers:
*Forbes Magazine, 2015
And this pot of money has grown every year since this data was collected, too.
Now, some people in the world of education believe that “high-stakes testing” is the best way to improve student skills, develop intellectual acumen and create positive experiences for kids, teachers and society. We do not. We believe that schools are over-testing our students, incentivizing a highly detrimental “teach to the test” mentality amongst school districts and putting behemoth companies driven by immense corporate profiteering into the driver’s seat of what gets taught (as well as how it gets taught, too).
Hip-hop pedagogy recognizes that one-size does not fit all and that embracing student-centered, meaningful methodological approaches to enhance learning does not mean sacrificing rigor or high-achievement at the high altar of student engagement.
Kids are smart. Kids are sophisticated. Kids are dynamic, energetic, talented and eager to learn. People who embrace hip-hop pedagogy do so because it provides tools that allow educators to, as the saying goes, have their cake and eat it, too.
Why should I join your email list and get your weekly newsletter regarding exclusive insights on how to tap the power of hip-hop pedagogy?
The fact is that the world of hip-hop pedagogy is exploding and there is no way for any of us to entirely keep up. This newsletter is designed to be a well-curated resource to try and help like-minded people who believe in the power of hip-hop pedagogy keep up with the latest developments, tools, ideas and people that are achieving success. We share their stories, tools, websites and so on.
Once a week. Lots of solid stuff. Simple, easy and powerful.
If that sounds like something you are interested in, there’s no fee and we never spam.
What is your – and we know this is a big, vague word – “philosophy” per se?
Well, there’s no such thing as a bad question so here ya go…
Using hip-hop in the class has proven to be a game changer for many students. And teachers, too. Classrooms from Brooklyn to Oakland, Miami to Philadelphia, Los Angeles to Dallas to Chicago to Baltimore and on and on, have been transformed from atmospheres of chronic underperformance and sleepy disengagement to purposeful, dynamic, high-achieving learning environments characterized by meaningful lessons, engaged young people and soaring academic aims. All by tapping the proven power of hip-hop pedagogy.
This text has been designed to open a similar doorway for you.
Hyperbole aside, the power of these instructional tools can move seemingly immovable mountains. Using hip-hop in the class isn’t a gimmick; it’s research-based, cutting edge American education which has been recognized as efficacious by the U.S. Department of Education, scores of Ivy League Universities and most significantly, real classroom teachers who work on the front lines of American classrooms each and every day.
As educators, authors, speakers and professional development specialists who have traveled the country extensively providing literacy solutions for at-risk kids (where so many others provide snake oil) we’ve written these books in order to help you attain the outstanding results we ourselves have been able to reap with hard-to-reach students. Particularly with hard-to-reach urban students attending schools in low-socio-economic environments.
No, we’re not promising you the moon. And we’re not selling a magic little blue pill that will make all your classroom troubles go away, either. What we are offering is data-driven, proven methodologies that have unquestionably raised student achievement, motivation, and the general enjoyment of learning. (We know, we know, kids actually liking what they learn? That’s HERESY!)
Of course, all of our work begins with the smart and effective implementation of standards-based lesson plans that have been constructed around three inviolable principles.
- no profanity
- no homophobia
- no misogyny
Great vocabulary words to discuss; terrible elements, we believe, to validate in a classroom environment.
As a teacher, do I have to rap or wear sunglasses in class in order to embrace this methodology?
Not at all. In fact, this is why the founders of Street Smart Press place such a high premium on providing tools that everyday educators can use to achieve significant success. Instead of trying to become Jay-Z, we illuminate how you can use the power of artists like Jay-Z to super-charge student motivation and engagement while you, as a teacher with a need to achieve purposeful aims, can remain lasered-in on teaching to efficacious, rigorous standards-based academic objectives.
Oh come on, there’s no way to really bring hip-hop into the classroom without bringing in questionable content is there?
We’ve said it over and over and we’ll say it again: all of our work begins with the smart and effective implementation of standards-based lesson plans that have been constructed around three inviolable principles.
- no profanity
- no homophobia
- no misogyny
So yes it’s possible to use hip-hop pedagogy without exposing yourself or your students to content that any parents, peers, district personnel and so on would find objectionable.
Our tools are “content free” because as real educators with an understanding of how the real world works, we know today’s teachers need tools that meet these criteria.
Does Street Smart Press offer only the teacher guides with the answer key or can we avoid the photocopier and obtain student materials (without the answer key embedded), too?
Yes, Street Smart Press understands that depending on the photocopier to reproduce materials or simply projecting a master image at the front of the room is not ideal. That’s why we now provide a means by which schools can save time and money while giving students ownership over their over their own learning.
What are your needs? Class sets? Grade level? The entire campus or program?
If you want immediately usable, high-quality, standards-based materials for your classes, after-school programs, summer school courses or entire district, Street Smart Press now offers it.
And we also offer exclusive bulk pricing discounts designed to make everything affordable. Just contact us and we’ll make every effort we can meet your individual needs.
How popular is hip-hop pedagogy?
How about if we allow Martha Diaz, a tremendous educator at the NYU, speak to this question (as taken directly from this academic article):
“We know of award-winning Hip-Hop after school programs, summer camps, and supplemental correctional education programs that help youth cope with peer pressure, trauma, and identity formation. Through Hip-Hop, youth are being taught essential life skills such as critical thinking, debate, media literacy, and peer-to-peer mediation that support their emotional, physical, cognitive and civic development. There are now entire high schools that are utilizing Hip-Hop-based education and pedagogy in an effort to transform students’ lives and their communities.”
In short, it’s everywhere. Big cities, small districts, major colleges, urban secondary schools.
Why is it “everywhere”? The answer is simple: hip-hop pedagogy works.