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Breakbeat Pedagogy

Hip Hop and Spoken Word Beyond the Classroom Walls


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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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Mooney, Brian, author. Title: Breakbeat pedagogy: hip-hop and spoken word beyond the classroom walls / Brian Mooney. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2016. Series: Counterpoints: studies in criticality; vol. 512 | ISSN 1058-1634 Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 2016015059 | ISBN 978-1-4331-3325-1 (hardcover: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-3324-4 (paperback: alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4539-1814-2 (ebook pdf) ISBN 978-1-4331-3618-4 (epub) | ISBN978-1-4331-3619-1 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Education, Urban—United States—Sociological aspects. Hip-hop—United States—Influence. | Performance poetry— Study and teaching—United States. | Culturally relevant pedagogy—United States. African American youth—Education. Classification: LCC LC5131 .M58 2016 | DDC 370.9173/2—dc23 LC record available at Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

© 2016 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited.

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