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Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life

Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity

Marc Lamont Hill

192 pages
Teachers College Press

For over a decade, educators have looked to capitalize on the appeal of hip-hop culture, sampling its language, techniques, and styles as a way of reaching out to students. But beyond a fashionable hipness, what does hip-hop have to offer our schools? In this revelatory new book, Marc Lamont Hill shows how a serious engagement with hip-hop culture can affect classroom life in extraordinary ways. Based on his experience teaching a hip-hop–centered English literature course in a Philadelphia high school, and drawing from a range of theories on youth culture, identity, and educational processes, Hill offers a compelling case for the power of hip-hop in the classroom. In addition to driving up attendance and test performance, Hill shows how hip-hop–based educational settings enable students and teachers to renegotiate their classroom identities in complex, contradictory, and often unpredictable ways.

Author Bio

Marc Lamont Hill is Associate Professor of English Education and Anthropology at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has lectured widely and provides regular commentary for media outlets like NPR, the Washington Post, Essence Magazine, and the New York Times. He is also a political contributor for Fox News Channel, where he appears regularly to provide counterpoint on programs such as The O’Reilly Factor and Hannity & Colmes. Prior to joining Fox News, Dr. Hill was a regular guest on CNN, MSNBC, and CourtTV. His award-winning daily blog is located on his website: www.MarcLamontHill.com.