GS 554 — Classrooms in Motion: Hip-Hop Based Education

Our discussion of Marc Lamont Hill’s Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity produced many themes and questions. Here are a few. Feel free to continue discussion by posting comments.


  • Teachers being afraid.
  • The importance of storytelling in cultivating meaningful relationships.
  • The various levels of resistance (social, institutional, and psychological) to treating humans as individual beings.
  • The role of bravado and machismo in identity work.


  • Is there more of a need to cultivate authentic relationships with students in a culturally diverse classroom?
  • How can you cultivate meaningful relationships with students while honoring the need for professionalism?
  • What do you have in your “teacher’s toolbox” beyond curriculum?
  • Has fear prevented you from culturally engaging students in your classroom?
  • How can you engage youth perspective of popular culture as a rich and meaningful source of learning that has traditionally been subordinated to traditional academic perspectives?
  • What is the role of popular culture in the formation of a young person’s identity?

We also viewed and discussed the 1995 film Kids.

One reply on “GS 554 — Classrooms in Motion: Hip-Hop Based Education”

  1. I wouldn’t say that fear prevents us from culturally engaging students, but I would agree that a certain amount of wariness does. This is where a superb command of language comes in. No teacher wants to appear to denigrate the teachings of parents even when the parents are hidebound and out of touch with their own children. However, with the right language, a teacher can provoke students to reexamine what they have learned from their parents, keep what they can validate, and form alternative opinions. After all, we do have to keep our jobs!

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