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Breakbeat Pedagogy

Hip Hop and Spoken Word Beyond the Classroom Walls

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Brian Mooney

Breakbeat Pedagogy provides a groundbreaking framework for the inclusion of hip-hop culture in schools. Looking beyond the previous model of hip-hop-based education, Brian Mooney argues for school-wide hip-hop events, such as poetry slams, as the ideal site for students to engage in the elements of hip-hop culture. Working from the perspective of a classroom teacher, the author reflects on the story of Word Up!, a hip-hop and spoken word poetry event that began with students in a New Jersey high school. He makes the case for a pedagogy with the potential to transform urban schools and the way we think about them. This is essential reading for any teacher committed to social justice and culturally relevant education.
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Breakbeat Pedagogy provides a groundbreaking framework for the inclusion of Hip Hop culture in schools. Working from the perspective of a classroom teacher, Mooney reflects on the story of Word Up!, a Hip Hop and spoken word poetry event that began with students in a New Jersey high school, making the case for a pedagogy with the potential to transform urban schools and the way we think about them. This is essential reading for any teacher committed to social justice and culturally responsive education. “Brian Mooney’s theoretical and practical explorations of the breakbeat cover necessary new ground and exemplify what a new type of education work the #HipHopEd community is getting done…Much of the gift that this text provides is showing readers how to own oneself and one’s own privileges while doing revolutionary work.”

—From the Foreword by Christopher Emdin, Teachers College, Columbia University

“Breakbeat Pedagogy is a triumph of imagination, one that fuses the ingenuity of the everyday with the groundbreaking science of Hip Hop pedagogy…For Mooney, to know is to break, and to break is to build.”

—David E. Kirkland, New York University

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