Hip Hop gains recognition at University Level

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HIP-HOP EDUCATION CENTER PARTNERS WITH COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY’S INSTITUTE FOR URBAN AND MINORITY EDUCATION AT TEACHERS COLLEGE

(NEW YORK, May 1, 2012) – In 2010, New York University’s Metropolitan Center for Urban Education (Metro Center) in collaboration with the Hip-Hop Association helped launch the Hip-Hop Education Center (HHEC). Founded and directed by community organizer, educator and social entrepreneur Martha Diaz, HHEC was developed as a social enterprise solution’s model to cultivate and develop Hip-Hop scholars, teaching artists, cultural workers, activists and social entrepreneurs to professionalize the field of Hip-Hop Education.

NYU’s Metro Center and HHEC collaborated on the first national research project identifying Hip-Hop-based education courses and programs in middle schools, high schools, after-school programs and institutions of higher learning. As a result, Re-Imagining Teaching and Learning: A Snapshot of Hip-Hop Education Report and The World IS Yours: A Brief History of Hip-Hop Education companion narrative were published in November 2011.

“The Metro Center has been committed to advancing education reform through research and innovative teaching methods. Working with HHEC and Ms. Diaz has been an organic process which continues to connect us to particular work in the classroom and the community.” Pedro Noguera, Director, Metro Center

The HHEC is pleased to announce a second partnership with an institution of higher learning, Columbia University’s Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME). The IUME partnership will support and build upon HHEC’s research and think tank initiatives. One of the main goals of the collaboration is to develop a teaching certificate for teaching artists, in-service teachers, and students of education using Hip-Hop in the classroom and extended-day programs. In addition, HHEC and Columbia’s IUME will incubate two Scholars-in-Residence and the Hip-Hop history archival project.

“At a time when schools are disengaging so many of our youth the HHEC provides a unique opportunity to make connections between a vibrant youth cultural practice and transformative models of education. We are excited to partner with HHEC and Ms. Diaz, a dynamic educator, scholar, and advocate, to bring Hip-Hop education to New York City Schools and, eventually, to schools and programs across the nation.” Ernest Morrell, Director, IUME

The partnership with IUME is a natural progression as more institutions of higher learning see the value of Hip-Hop culture as part of American history, knowledge (re)production, and a tool for innovation and social change. We’re elated to work with Dr. Ernest Morrell and his team. For nearly twenty years Dr. Morrell’s research has focused on drawing upon youth’s interest in popular culture and participatory media technologies to increase motivation and to promote academic literacy development, civic engagement and college access.” Martha Diaz, Director, HHEC

 

For Immediate Release

October 28, 2011

Hip-Hop Education Reaches Youth in Low-Income, Marginalized, and Chronically Violent Communities, According to NYU Steinhardt Metro Center Report

New York, NY – A new report reveals an emerging pattern of success among marginalized students participating in Hip-Hop education, leading to higher attendance and graduation rates

Re-Imagining Teaching and Learning: A Snapshot of Hip-Hop Education, a groundbreaking report and national scan of Hip-Hop educational programs by the Hip-Hop Education Center (H2ED Center) at the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education (Metro Center) at the New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, is being released today.

“Hip-Hop–based education is empowering thousands of youth and adults in the U.S. and around the world to develop their identity, voice, and leadership in society,” said Martha Diaz, Co-Principal Investigator and Founding Director of the H2ED Center at the Metro Center. “We are pleased to present our findings and use this report as an opportunity to analyze, dialog, and harness Hip-Hop to catapult students and teachers to higher levels of success within both elementary and higher education.”

Re-Imagining Teaching and Learning: A Snapshot of Hip-Hop Education underscores how the culturally rich and indigenous art form of Hip-Hop encompasses key elements and skill-building activities including English language arts, entrepreneurship, leadership and team building, career development, identity formation, media literacy, storytelling, writing, oral debate, negotiating, and problem solving.

Pedro Noguera, Executive Director of Metro Center explains, “Given the importance and presence of Hip-Hop in the lives of youth, Hip-Hop has great potential to positively impact their educational experiences.”

The report was made possible through generous support from the Nathan Cummings Foundation.  Maurine D. Knighton, Director of the Arts & Culture Program at the Nathan Cummings Foundationexplains, “the emergence of Hip Hop pedagogy is an exciting development that promises to extend the power of the art form to the classroom and beyond. It will engage young people and elevate their voices in ways that could transform lives and change the world.  We are pleased to support the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education’s initial survey of the field and look forward to its dissemination.”

“Hip-Hop’s elements provide significant life and career building skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, self-awareness, time management, and teamwork,” said Edward Fergus, Ph.D., Deputy Director at the Metro Center.

An overwhelming 76% of the nearly 300 Hip-Hop participants, courses, and programs indexed in Re-Imagining Teaching and Learning: A Snapshot of Hip-Hop Education integrate what Afrika Bambaataa, the “Godfather” of Hip-Hop culture calls the “fifth element”, or knowledge of self and community.  The report also finds that in many instances, the history and development of Hip-Hop culture is used to engage students and teach about community development, organizing, and social justice.

Other key findings from Re-Imagining Teaching and Learning: A Snapshot of Hip-Hop Education include:

  • Programs indicated that students had higher attendance and graduation rates.
  • 94.6% Parents support the courses and programs, either by contributing financially, volunteering their time, and/or enrolling their children in a program.
  • Government agencies, foundations, institutions of higher learning, NGOs, internal staff, and students evaluated 100 out of the 212 Hip-Hop education programs.

A decade after No Child Left Behind, the United States is still being left behind with regards to academic performance. Out of 34 countries, the United States ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math. With 70% of eighth graders in the U.S. lacking proficiency in reading, it is time to reassess teaching methods and pedagogy. The glaring crisis of dropouts indicates there is an urgency to re-engage students with learning.  According to Diaz, this is where Hip-Hop Education comes in.

As the report’s finding show, in communities around the nation youth are learning to organize and build community, collaborate on music, publish books, and start businesses through Hip-Hop. It is critical that we harness Hip-Hop’s impact and potential to transform the education field.  Diaz explains, “The investigation of Hip-Hop education’s potential has only just begun. Research must continue to help define and understand the terms posited by Hip-Hop education, including Hip-Hop culture, Hip-Hop aesthetics, Hip-Hop theater, Hip-Hop activism, Hip-Hop social entrepreneurship, and Hip-Hop philanthropy.”

The report highlights challenges and issues expressed in the report about the negative stigma associated with Hip-Hop and the confusion about Hip-Hop culture/history, in addition to capacity building, infrastructure, and professional development of the field of Hip-Hop Education. Obtaining buy-in and administrative support and the loss or lack of funding were also major challenges. Throughout this economic downturn, arts funding has suffered severe cuts and Hip-Hop education is disproportionately affected.

Available on the H2ED Center website, (http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/metrocenter/hiphopeducation/Research), the findings of Re-Imagining Teaching and Learning: A Snapshot of Hip-Hop Education will be presented at the upcoming meeting of the Hip-Hop Education Center Think Tank, “Rolling Deep, Moving Forward: Professionalizing Hip-Hop Education”, at New York University, November 11, 2011. Practitioners, teaching artists, community leaders, administrators, business professionals, and business professionals, including Diana Mulligan (Rap Cool Health – Denver, CO), Mazi Mutafa (Word Beats Life – Washington, DC), Dr. Raymond Codrington (The Aspen Institute – New York, NY), TC Ellis (High School of the Recording Arts – St. Paul, Minnesota), Toni Blackman (U.S. State Department’s Hip Hop Cultural Envoy), Carlos 139 Mare Rodriguez (H2ED Center Scholar in Residence), along with Hip-Hop academicians and researchers from New York University, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Columbia University, Syracuse University, University of Chicago, Brooklyn College, and George Mason University will gather to discuss the scan and the future of Hip-Hop education.

 

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