Music, Moves, and Mindsets: A Practitioner’s Guide to Applying Hip Hop Pedagogy in K- 12 Education

I propose to combine specialized cultural knowledge derived from lived experience as a Hip Hop practitioner and pedagogical theory to synthesize a practical educational instrument for use with K-12 students. The design of this teaching instrument is informed by and augmented with application of an intersectional lens and historiographical analysis to uncover silences and gaps of knowledge in Hip Hop history, and to address learners that do not want or are unable to participate. My project focuses on three advantages of Hip Hop pedagogy: 1) sparking learners interest through familiarity of Hip Hop artistic expressions, 2) engaging and keeping the attention of students in any scholastic subject, and 3) encouraging independent thought. I explore four common obstacles that an educator may experience when employing Hip Hop pedagogy: 1) not being knowledgeable enough about a chosen piece of Hip Hop art or history, 2) reproducing dominant power structures and narratives, 3) devaluing a student who cannot or does not want to participate in a particular activity, and 4) appropriating Hip Hop culture. A different Hip Hop dance form is used for each part of the performance: 1) rocking for the critical theories of culturally relevant/responsive pedagogy, 2) breakdancing for the definition and examples of Hip Hop pedagogy, 3) New Jack Swing for the obstacles encountered when using Hip Hop pedagogy, and 4) a mixture of all three styles of dance, known as all-styles, to represent my conclusion.