Hip Hop Pedagogies: An Alternative Praxis




McGee, Alexis

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This study of Hip Hop Composition Pedagogy discusses and (re)defines educational spaces among students and faculty at the college level. This study explores composition teaching techniques related to ethnicity within writing and the academy. In order to connect the diverse array of students welcomed to academic discourse, pedagogies should also be equipped to cater to the various global learning styles and resonate with students so scaffolding information, like composition skill sets, can occur. By accepting the validity of Hip Hop Pedagogies, teachers may expand on the types of teaching methods available for them so as to connect with diverse and global markets of students. It is important to incorporate and accept pedagogies that emphasize student-centered dialogue and experiences since the language we use can rarely be separated from a context. Effective rhetorical devices are found within various texts and media that are not typical or common in the limited anthologized texts taught in traditional First Year English composition courses. I propose integrating Hip Hop Pedagogies into the First Year English composition classes; teachers and students can evaluate texts and rhetorical devices from different global cultures and bridge traditional rhetorical practices with real world applications. Comparing the opposite compositional structures could encourage students’ learning and accepting alternative approaches to concepts of language such as grammar, syntax, and structure helping to guide and strengthen students’ writing in a global market. This approach will aid in introducing students not accustomed to a certain style—reader responsible or writer responsible styles—of writing by allowing a space for students to explore concepts. Hip Hop Pedagogies will provide a base to teach cultural comparative rhetorical analysis catered to texts found globally and students from varied backgrounds. This study (re)defines Hip Hop Pedagogies by using the structural definitions provided by Marc Lamont Hill and will recontextualize Hill’s definitions and purposes of Hip Hop education within a context of First Year English composition classes. This study investigates the questions of “how can Hip Hop make better writers?” as well as “how can Hip Hop be used to discover connections students make with Hip Hop and learning the ‘new’ information cultivated by developing what students already know?” These leading questions will be contextualized by a survey distributed in select classes of both first semester and second semester First Year English composition courses. This survey was adapted from a summer youth program created to gauge perceptions of writing, Hip Hop, African American Rhetoric and African American Language among youth in the surrounding community.



Hip hop, Rhetoric, First year English, Composition


McGee, A. (2014). <i>Hip hop pedagogies: An alternative praxis</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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