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Youth Culture Power

A #HipHopEd Guide to Building Teacher-Student Relationships and Increasing Student Engagement


Jason D. Rawls and John Robinson

In our schools, hip-hop culture is the dominant culture among the students. In Youth Culture Power: A #HipHopEd Guide to Building Teacher-Student Relationships and Increasing Student Engagement, Jason D. Rawls and John Robinson, educators and hip-hop artists with experience in the urban classrooms, focus their efforts through Hip-Hop Based Education (HHBE). They argue that hip-hop culture could be useful in building relationships and building student engagement.

The approach to achieve this is Youth Culture Pedagogy (YCP). YCP is based in a foundation of reality pedagogy (Emdin, 2014), culturally responsive pedagogy (Ladson-Billings, 1995), and HHBE (Hill, 2009; Petchauer, 2009). In this volume, the authors lay the groundwork for YCP and how they envision its use within the classroom.

In Youth Culture Power, the authors put forth their C.A.R.E. Model of youth pedagogy to help teachers create a positive learning environment by building relationships and lessons around students’ own culture. Instead of forcing students to give up the things they frequent, Rawls and Robinson feel teachers should discuss them and when possible, use them in lessons. The purpose of this book is to present a fresh take on why educators should not discount the culture of youth within the classroom.

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Chapter 4. Generation XYZ


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“Gen Z with the most know how of em all, so clever for sure, technological genius from the door”

Say What?

In order to speak about the generation of students that we are now teaching, we feel it’s imperative that we attempt to define some parameters. In 2015, a marketing and branding company named Ologie completed a study on Generation Z (“This is Gen Z,” 2015). In this study, they labeled the generations as follows:

Table 4.1

While we are aware that there are several interpretations of each group’s birth years, these are the years we will use for our purposes. According to Strauss ← 65 | 66 → and Howe (1991) the generation born 1996 and after has been labeled by several names. Some have called them the iGeneration or iGen (based on the popularity of iPhones). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services labeled them the Post-Millennial generation while a contest sponsored by USA Today came up with the suggestion of Generation Z (Strauss & Howe, 1991). The latter is what we will use for our description of the generation that follows Generation Y. This description also works with the title for our song “XYZ.” While Berk (2009) explains that these specific dates, ages and labels can be left up to interpretation, these are the parameters that we will use to define the groups of which we speak throughout this chapter. Now...

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