You may have seen the TeacherTube video Mrs. Burk Simplified Fraction Math (viewed over 16,000 times), in which a K-12 teacher in Texas drops math knowledge over hip hop beats; and if you’re a language arts teacher, you may have slipped the lyrics of popular rap songs into your lesson plans when discussing Shakespeare’s couplets.
If you’re using hip hop as a teaching tool in the classroom or wonder how to begin doing so, a guidebook was recently published: The Hip-Hop Education Guidebook, Vol. 1 (eds. Marcella Runell and Martha Diaz; pub. Hip-Hop Association, 2007).
A description from the publisher:
“How can we utilize the energy and creativity of Hip-Hop music and culture to make schools and classrooms more engaging? The H2Ed Guidebook provides answers. The H2Ed Guidebook addresses the tenets of a critical Hip-Hop pedagogy, framing the issues of concern and strength within Hip-Hop culture by providing in-depth analysis from parents, teachers and scholars. And most importantly, the H2Ed Guidebook offers an array of innovative, interdisciplinary standards-referenced lessons written by teachers for teachers.”
Last week a daily, music-focused radio program on WNYC, a NYC-region NPR affiliate, held an interesting discussion about the increasing trend of using hip hop as a K-12 teaching tool – the program host spoke with one of the guide’s editors, the author of the book’s forward (a teaching professor at NYU) and local callers.