Learning Through Conflict in the Hip-Hop and Spoken Word Classroom
by Bronwen Low
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Slam School takes the reader into the heart of a poetry course in an urban high school to make the case for critical hip-hop pedagogies. Pairing rap music with its less controversial cousins, spoken word and slam poetry, this course honored and extended student interests. It also confronted the barriers of race, class, gender, and generation that can separate white teachers from classrooms of predominantly black and Latino students and students from each other.
Bronwen Low builds a surprising argument: the very reasons teachers might resist the introduction of hip-hop into the planned curriculum are what make hip-hop so pedagogically vital. Class discussions on topics such as what one can and cannot say in the school auditorium or who can use the N-word raised pressing and difficult questions about language, culture and identity. As she reveals, an innovative, student-centered pedagogy based on spoken word curriculum that is willing to tolerate conflict, as well as ambivalence, has the potential to air tensions and lead to new insights and understandings for both teachers and students.
- Stanford University Press, March 2011
Stanford University Press
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