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Breakbeat Pedagogy

Hip Hop and Spoken Word Beyond the Classroom Walls

Series:

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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Foreword

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After decades of research that delicately pushed the boundaries of our shared understandings on the implications of race, culture and ethnicity on teaching and learning, the time has come for educators to face these issues head on and challenge the ways that schools, and those that work within them, have become complicit in the erasure of the culture of young people from teaching and learning. For decades, scholars have discussed race and culture without naming the ways that it has impacted curriculum, school culture, classroom structure, teacher recruitment, and most importantly, pedagogy.

Today, a new crop of scholars has taken on the charge to push unapologetically and challenge the ways that we shift both our understandings and our practice. Many of these scholars come from within the #HipHopEd community; a coalition of scholar-activists who emerge from the Hip Hop generation with a primary goal of bringing voice to marginalized groups they are in many ways still part of, while shifting theory and practice to reflect how race, class, culture and education intersect. This work has brought many #HipHopEd(ucators) to focus on the challenges of teachers who do not share the same ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds as their students. We push back against the hyper-focus on theory at the expense of practical, tangible and sensible approaches to teaching and learning and do so without failing to ← ix | x → engage with existent theory while reimagining who and what we pull from in order to develop new...

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