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Part 2: High School Students Write Essays on Kendrick Lamar’s album, To Pimp A Butterfly

“Over 40 years, we’ve made changes in this country, but did we make a change in the heart of the individual?” – Jalen (9th grade) Since my last post about teaching Kendrick Lamar’s new album, To Pimp A Butterfly (2015) in the high school classroom, many people from around the world, including educators and music fans alike, have asked me to share some …

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Why I Dropped Everything And Started Teaching Kendrick Lamar’s New Album

When Kendrick Lamar released his sophomore album, To Pimp A Butterfly (2015), I was in the middle of teaching a unit on Toni Morrison’s novel, The Bluest Eye (1970). My freshmen students were grappling with some big ideas and some really complex language. Framing the unit as an “Anti-Oppression” study, we took special efforts to define and explore the kinds …

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Invitation to the Met, in the voice of Maxine Greene

Dear New York City student, You are cordially invited to join us for an evening of intertextual exploration at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, located at 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028. Please do not leave your identity on the downtown A train. Bring it with you (you will need it). There is no dress code. Bring your language. …

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90 Days of American Schooling

1. This syllabus is now your God. Best learn how to genuflect. 2. Everything is here in black and white. My expectations are clear. Don’t act like you weren’t told. 3. You see my late policy. You see our classroom norms. Don’t act like you don’t know, because now you know. 4. This is a contract. You will sign it. …

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16 Days of American Schooling

1. This syllabus is now your God. Don’t act like you weren’t told. Everything is here in black and white. My expectations are clear. You will sign this. Your parents will sign this. You see my late policy. You see our classroom norms. Don’t act like you don’t know, because now you know. 2. I will make my PowerPoints available …

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Thesis Christ

How far reaching are the effects of our “authoritative” insistence that students should always be searching for conclusions? I wonder if there is anything at all, in my life, that I have come to a complete, definitive, absolute conclusion about. What happens to the development of young learners when we insist an “illusion of mastery”? When I heard Maxine Greene …

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Teaching to Heal

Teachers need to live with integrity because we are more than just content instructors. In many ways, we are spiritual guides. I don’t mean gurus or religious mentors. We should be teachers of spiritual principles – the same universal principles found in all the great works of literature. There is nothing more important. Many students, parents, administrators and educators believe that our …