In an attempt to engage students in a subject that they might otherwise find irrelevant, some teachers are using hip-hop (“Why hip-hop belongs in today’s classrooms,” the conversation, Jan. 13). But hip-hop pedagogy is controversial for understandable reasons.
For one thing, it is filled with foul language and glorification of violence, particularly toward women. Therefore, whatever instructional benefits hip-hop might have, the question arises whether there are not better ways of making a subject relevant.
I think the issue comes down to how hip-hop is used. In the hands of creative and responsible teachers, it can be a valuable tool. I’m assuming, of course, that parents don’t find hip-hop to be intrinsically too offensive. I say that because so much depends on local values. What is acceptable in a large urban school district would not necessarily be acceptable in a small rural district.
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