Title

Using Hip-Hop Texts to Unpack Social Justice

First Presenter's Institution

LaVoulle Group, LLC.

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Ballroom F

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

This presentation presents critical literacy and hip-hop Discourse as tools to close the achievement gap and promote learning for all children and youth. Educators in high need schools, particularly Title I schools, will learn ways help students disrupt the balance of power by dismantling the idea that the teacher is all knowing and the student is an empty vessel, devoid of knowledge.

Brief Program Description

Teaching is a political act and education, the way it is traditionally presented, tends to oppress. Education is clouded by teacher’s point of view and student’s prejudice. In this presentation, hip-hop Discourse and critical literacy are demonstrated as tools to help students disrupt the balance of power, dismantling the idea that the teacher is all knowing and the student is an empty vessel, devoid of knowledge.

Summary

Public schools are thought to be failing because they are unable to meet the cultural needs of a diverse student body (Au, 2005) that is heavily influenced by hip-hop. The myriad of students who identify with the hip-hop culture is increasing, yet the number of teachers who can identify with students of hip-hop generation continues to decrease. Educating for equity and social justice implies that teachers recognize that there is injustice in society and that not all students are treated or educated equally in our schools. Students of color are appearing in every American school (Cochran-Smith and Fries, 2005) constituting over 40% of the US school population yet many of their teachers are not willing to even acknowledge that there are differences between them and their white peers. Turning a blind eye to race and its consequences leads to ineffective teaching when it comes to diversity, equity and social justice. To pretend that there are no differences between students of color, students who live in poverty, and middle class white students is irresponsible and ineffective. Instead, teachers should work toward understanding the differences that exist and use the student’ unique characteristics to make learning connections. This presentation offers critical literacy and hip-hop Discourse as a tool to disrupt the balance of power by dismantling the idea that the teacher is all knowing and the student is an empty vessel, devoid of knowledge.

I am convinced that hip-hop Discourse using critical literacy can be used to avoid youth becoming drones, and feed for the prison system. Hip-hop Discourse represented with a capital D, is multifaceted (Foreman, 2010; Keels, 2005) and includes a world view, ways of doing, being, and knowing (Gee, 1996) that is used in rap music, graffiti, spoken word poetry, and daily conversation. Critical literacy is a theory for understanding the power relationship in language as well as an instructional method that helps the reader read and understand text and its influence. Critical literacy is an instructional approach to reading text that unearths the way language is used to entertain, inform, persuade, and manipulate the reader (Alim, 2007; Bartlett, 2008).

Today’s youth are born into highly developed technological advancement (Dyson, 2004), heavily influenced by digital mediums. Individuals receive messages and develop opinions based on information they discovered via the Internet. Technology has influenced how people listen to music, watch television, advertise products, and teach content (Alim, 2009). Technological advances have allowed cultural phenomenon like hip-hop culture to educate and influence millions of people worldwide.

Participants will learn how to use critical literacy’s examination of relationships of power, dominance, and socially constructed meanings embedded in multiple forms of media as a way to motivate students and stimulate critical thinking.

Evidence

Critical literacy emboldens students to consider the context or historical timeframe and geographic location to comprehend a text (Behrman, 2006). When students critically consider who constructed the text, as well as when and where (Behrman, 2006), students develop an understanding of dynamics that exist within the text and understand authorship. Critical literacy invites the reader to uncover the way language is used in text to induce thoughts. Teachers who adopt a critical literacy stance encourage students to imagine alternative endings in stories, utilizing multiple perspectives.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Crystal LaVoulle is an international education consultant with a proven record of accomplishment in providing professional development. With 20 years of educational experience, Dr. LaVoulle has worked with a diverse range of students and teachers and has earned a doctorate in Teaching and Learning from Georgia State University, a Masters of Public Administration in Policy and Education from the University of West Georgia, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Dr. LaVoulle is committed to educating the world’s children through intelligent leadership.

Dr. Crystal LaVoulle’s consulting company, LaVoulle Group, LLC., specializing in differentiated professional learning and development. The Chronicles of Effective Teaching workshop series provides teachers with tools to bridge the gap between students’ current performance and their academic potential. Using a collaborative conversational approach, the LaVoulle Group’s Lead By Example workshop series supports school leaders by addressing critical barriers to school improvement such as school climate, school culture and teacher retention.

Dr. LaVoulle specializes in digital literacy and popular culture studies and uses her research interest to support teaching and learning in urban schools. Her book titled Read, Write, Rhyme Institute: Educators, Entertainers, and Entrepreneurs Engage in Hip-Hop Discourse, describes a hip-hop literacies experience shared by entertainers, entrepreneurs and educators who participated in a forum for intellectual dialog and Discourse about hip-hop culture. Her publications focus on global educational teaching practices and the politics of hip-hop culture, using popular culture as a teaching tool to connect with students and stimulate critical thinking.

Serving the education community at home and abroad, Dr. Crystal established a non-profit organization called Literacy Learners, INC. for Teachers Who Love to Travel. Through the non-profit, she has created educational experiences for teachers and leaders to investigate global issues, learn through hands-on cultural experiences, and promote literacy.

Presentation Year

2019

Start Date

3-6-2019 11:15 AM

End Date

3-6-2019 12:30 PM

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Mar 6th, 11:15 AM Mar 6th, 12:30 PM

Using Hip-Hop Texts to Unpack Social Justice

Ballroom F

Teaching is a political act and education, the way it is traditionally presented, tends to oppress. Education is clouded by teacher’s point of view and student’s prejudice. In this presentation, hip-hop Discourse and critical literacy are demonstrated as tools to help students disrupt the balance of power, dismantling the idea that the teacher is all knowing and the student is an empty vessel, devoid of knowledge.