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HipHopEd: The Compilation on Hip-Hop Education

Volume 2: Hip-Hop as Praxis & Social Justice


Edited By Edmund Adjapong and Ian Levy

This second volume in the Hip-Hop Education series highlights knowledge of self as the fifth and often forgotten element of hip-hop. In many cases, a connection to hip-hop culture is one that has been well embedded in the identity of hip-hop educators. Historically, academic spaces have had misperceptions and misunderstand the authentic culture of hip-hop, often forcing hip-hop educators to abandon their authentic hip-hop selves to align themselves to the traditions of academia. This edited series highlights the realities of hip-hop educators who grapple with cultivating and displaying themselves authentically in practice and offers examples of how hip-hop can be utilized in educational spaces to promote social justice. It provides narratives of graduate students, practitioners, junior and senior scholars who all identify as part of hip-hop. The chapters in this text explore the intersections of the authors’ lived experiences, hip-hop, theory, praxis and social justice.

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Chapter Five: Creating a Shared Energy through Hip-Hop to Advance the Pedagogy of Math Pre-Service Educators (Marti Cason and AV the Great)


chapter five

Creating a Shared Energy through Hip-Hop to Advance the Pedagogy of Math Pre-Service Educators

marti cason and av the great

@mathsmarti and @AVTHEGREAT

Yeah, this album is dedicated to all the teachers that told me I’d never amount to nothin’

—The Notorious B.I.G., “Juicy,” 1994

The opening lyrics to The Notorious B.I.G.’s debut single “Juicy,” which also happens to be the first single on his 1994 debut album Ready to Die, should have been a wakeup call to teachers to re-consider how we engage students in the classroom. The Notorious B.I.G., known to his teachers as Christopher Wallace, expresses frustration and resolve to overcome a system that sought to exclude him. He chose in these opening lines to call out teachers who indicated success was not an option for him. Imagine students who want to learn, but who feel disconnected or unwanted in the classrooms that are meant to serve them. Even with efforts by organizations such as the National Council for Teachers or Mathematics (NCTM) to advocate for students to be given the opportunity to explore and discover mathematics, a traditional mathematics curriculum continues to dominate today’s classrooms. In traditional classrooms, mathematics is viewed as a set of rules that students are rarely asked to challenge; instead, there is an overemphasis on repetition and convergent, right-answer thinking (Ladson-Billings, 1997; Rakes, Valentine, McGatha, & Ronau, 2010). Ladson-Billings (1997) suggests that the cultural expressions of students should...

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