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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 6. B Plan


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“You never once considered that probably the lesson wouldn’t resonate in class so vibrantly, that’s why u gotta keep a variety of lessons and activities vitally, or get caught looking real indecisive B …”

Say What?

Over the past several chapters, we have discussed our thoughts on relating to and understanding our 21st century students. As previously discussed, the topics in these chapters are generated from our personal experiences as educators. This chapter continues to build from our experiences. We offer an analysis on the process of class preparation for an educator who chooses to enact the tenets of YCP.

As a teacher, we acknowledge that it can be easy to get into a rut when you teach a group of students each day. In his rhymes on the song “Don’t Smile Till November,” John expressed that teaching is a love sport. However, even if you love teaching; when you have to organize, create structure and routines for a group of young people (or any people for that matter); it’s easy to focus on just the organization, structures and routines. The goal is to ensure that students receive instruction daily and that we as teacher’s are following ← 89 | 90 → state guidelines for curriculum. During our discussion, we were able to step back and take a look at ourselves in addition to what we observed in our schools. Some of our observations included teachers and administrators...

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