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In our schools, Hip-Hop culture is the dominant culture among the students. In Youth Culture Power: A #HipHopEd Guide to Building Student Teacher Relationships and Increasing Student Engagement, Jason D. Rawls and John Robinson, educators and hip-hop artists with experience in the classrooms of urban schools, 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). In this volume, the authors lay the groundwork for YCP and how they envision its use within the classroom. YCP is based in a foundation of reality pedagogy (Emdin, 2014), culturally responsive pedagogy (Ladson-Billings, 1995), and HHBE (Hill, 2009; Petchauer, 2009). We define it as a pedagogical approach which uses students own culture to create scenarios to facilitate learning.
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, they 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.
For listeners, Youth Culture Power by Jay ARE consists of J Rawls produced, jazz-infused hip-hop tracks over which the emcees rhyme poetic on the state of educating inner city youth today. Rawls and Robinson list the many challenges; like culturally-biased standardized tests, the whitewashing of history in textbooks and the cutting of resources, but counter with a wealth of solutions; like relating to students, implementing new techniques in the classroom and simply being attentive to the happenings of their lives. The wordplay within every verse is weighted with the tenets of Youth Culture Pedagogy (YCP), and sound bites from educators and scholars with foundational schools of thought, like Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, Dr. Jocelyn Wilson, Martha Diaz and Dr. Christopher Emdin, are laced throughout this musical journey. The project stays true to their musical craft as well as their educational message, welcoming longtime fans of their music in addition to educators and administrators.
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