Monday, 26 October 2015

Week 7: Social Justice and Hip Hop

 Petchauer’s article (2015) is a revisit of a previous study undertaken in 2009. This “part essay, part narrative review” (p.79) considers hip hop education as it connects to and figures in several areas or disciplines of education. Petchauer (2015) investigates how hip hop education, pedagogy and research impacts urban education.

So, before the end of the second page, I found myself looking up three terms. ‘Emic’, ‘etic’ and ‘heuristics’ – although I think I’ve seen this third term previously. Emic is related to, or involves the analysis of cultural phenomena from the perspective of one who participates in the culture being studied, while etic is from the perspective of an outside observer ( .  Heuristics is involving or serving as an aid to learning, discovery or problem solving through experimental and trial-and-error methods. (

Petchauer (2015) connects hiphop threads from outside education (visually, sonically, linguistically and kinesthetically, through dance) with an eye to improving education. The author explains sampling, layering, flow and ruptures as aesthetic forms and credits Rose (1994) as the anchor for this analysis. I found the diagram in Figure 1 on page 83 an excellent visual representation of layers, flow and ruptures.

Petchauer (2015) poses several questions that provoke thought and exploration within and because of hip-hop. These questions focus on how to take the elements of hiphop and incorporate them into education. An interesting question posed is: “If these aesthetics make up a style nobody can deal with, how might we imagine a pedagogy nobody can deal with?” (p.89)

Petchauer (2015) goes on to explain how hip hop aesthetics are realized in two real-life contexts – one, a school in St. Paul, Minnesota (HSRA) and the other, a “critical education initiative in Philadelphia called Stop Coonin’ Movement [SCM]” (p. 89). The article goes on to explain how sampling, layering and ruptures exist as a new pedagogy within these two educational institutions.

This article was interesting in the questions asked and answered. It was very intense and complex, using vocabulary and context-specific examples relating to hip-hop. I am not a fan of hip-hop music as I find it too intense and angry and abrasive for me. As such, I am not overly familiar with the culture within or artists who perform it. Due to study within this M.Ed and exposure to hip-hop and rap as a literacy tool, I have come to appreciate its richness and effectiveness in delivering a message and to be used as a tool/medium of speech and thought. This article furthered my consideration of hip-hop to reach into pedagogical research in order to establish a new space of educational practice.

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