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Why Schools Should Include Hip-Hop In The Curriculum

Most classes start with a “Do Now” or “Warm-Up.” Mine often start with a hip-hop cypher. In a cypher, students stand in a circle, spread at equal distances, and one at a time, contribute a rhyme, line of poetry, thought, idea, or affirmation. This circle is the pedagogical foundation of the work I do in hip-hop education.   On a …

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Hip-Hop Education: An Interview with Dr. David Kirkland of NYU

As part of a series of interviews with scholars, teachers, and students about the intersections of hip hop, spoken word poetry, and urban education, we interviewed Dr. David Kirkland of New York University. Dr. Kirkland is a transdisciplinary scholar of English and urban education, who explores the intersections among urban youth culture, language and literacy, urban teacher preparation, and digital media. …

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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 …