Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education

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Overview

Many educators already know that hip-hop can be a powerful tool for engaging students. But can hip-hop save our schools? In Hip Hop Genius, Sam Seidel introduces an iteration of hip-hop education that goes far beyond the usual approach of studying rap music as classroom content and looks instead at deeply honoring the knowledge of urban students. Seidel lays out a vision for how hip-hop's genius—the resourceful creativity and swagger that took it from a local phenomenon to a global force—can lead to a fundamental...
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Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education

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Overview

Many educators already know that hip-hop can be a powerful tool for engaging students. But can hip-hop save our schools? In Hip Hop Genius, Sam Seidel introduces an iteration of hip-hop education that goes far beyond the usual approach of studying rap music as classroom content and looks instead at deeply honoring the knowledge of urban students. Seidel lays out a vision for how hip-hop's genius—the resourceful creativity and swagger that took it from a local phenomenon to a global force—can lead to a fundamental remix of the way we think of teaching, school design, and leadership.

Through stories about the professional rapper who founded the first hip-hop high school and the aspiring artists currently enrolled there, Hip Hop Genius invites readers to think outside the (boom)box about what hip-hop education can mean and to consider the implications that a broader definition of hip-hop education could have on their teaching and learning experiences.

This book is for all of the educators in need of new solutions and all the hip-hop heads who know hip-hop is far more than music. It is for everyone who refuses to watch brilliant young people slip through the cracks and is down to take action.

View Sam's YouTube trailer for the book here

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
This book describes the pedagogy and curriculum of an alternative high school that is rooted in hip-hop culture and has demonstrated some success in retaining students who might otherwise be among the 1.23 million high school dropouts in America every year. It also attempts to explain hip-hop as a philosophy and way of life to the uninitiated. While the library is at the heart of a traditional school, the High School for Recording Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota, has as its core a recording studio. Curriculum is centered on music production and prepares students for a wide range of jobs related to the recording business. It is a curriculum that makes sense to young African Americans. Claiming that traditional programs subject minority students to "identity abuse," this school is predicated on providing an environment that reflects rather than transforms student culture. The program features individualized, project-based learning in real-world contexts....Summing Up: Recommended. General readers.
Herbert Kohl
Hip Hop Genius is a weapon for the defense of the resilience, brilliance, and strengths of young people and for schools designed to serve them. I wish we had had such a book as a weapon for our self-defense during the struggles of the sixties. It provides evidence for the way in which diversity in schooling can overcome intractable problems of public education and should be used in defense of democratic, wider-ranging schooling. The educational establishment is cynically obsessed with one-way schooling, and this book is a call for resistance and opposition through the power of the portrait it provides of what creative education looks like.
Joy James
With back bends for the older and back flips for the agile young, Hip Hop Genius exercises sound scholarship and creative, critical thinking as it confronts social disparities in America’s educational crisis. Sam Seidel’s years of experience with city and charter schools allow him to chronicle and channel the contributions of teachers, students, artists, and activists rooted in urban cultures—all working to define strategies for quality universal education. Positioning hip hop against ideological conservatism, economic neglect, racism, sexism, and homophobia, Hip Hop Genius executes the essential moves.
William Upski Wimsatt
Don't wait for Superman—Hip Hop Genius is here! With more than turntables and a microphone, the High School for Recording Arts has created an amazing new model to tap one of America's greatest resources: the unrecognized genius of kids from the hood. Unfortunately, most schools are stuck in the 20th Century. Hip Hop Genius works—it will change the way you think about education and hip hop at the same time.
Pedro A. Noguera Ph.D
At a time when educators and policymakers are struggling to find ways to motivate young people to achieve at higher levels, it would make sense for them to consider looking into the areas where many are already engaged. In this insightful and illuminating book, we learn that hip hop is much more than a source of entertainment. It can and is being used as a medium for creativity and genius to be cultivated. Seidel shows us how one school is doing just that, and through his analysis of their work he reminds us of what could be possible for many more.
Marc Lamont Hill
Hip Hop Genius is a powerful and necessary work. Through his beautifully written account of the High School for Recording Arts, Samuel Seidel offers real-world texture and nuance to the field of hip-hop-based education. Unlike many books in the field, Hip Hop Genius doesn't force us to choose between theory and practice, or pragmatism and hope. This book is a sorely needed reminder of what is possible when we release our imaginations and mine the genius that inside of all of our children.
CHOICE
This book describes the pedagogy and curriculum of an alternative high school that is rooted in hip-hop culture and has demonstrated some success in retaining students who might otherwise be among the 1.23 million high school dropouts in America every year. It also attempts to explain hip-hop as a philosophy and way of life to the uninitiated. While the library is at the heart of a traditional school, the High School for Recording Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota, has as its core a recording studio. Curriculum is centered on music production and prepares students for a wide range of jobs related to the recording business. It is a curriculum that makes sense to young African Americans. Claiming that traditional programs subject minority students to "identity abuse," this school is predicated on providing an environment that reflects rather than transforms student culture. The program features individualized, project-based learning in real-world contexts....Summing Up: Recommended. General readers.
Harvard Educational Review
It’s the something-from-nothing attitude that led young musicians to transform record players into instruments and to combine snatches of disco, funk, rock, and blues into the new American music. It is hip-hop genius, and, according to Sam Seidel, it just might be the antidote for what ails our public schools….With no wasted words or drawn-out discussions, Seidel keeps it moving and leaves you wanting to know more. The author comes across as knowledgeable and passionate about the topic as well as humble in his obvious admiration for the youth and adults featured in the book….This book is a gift.
George Clinton
Get the book... [David 'TC' Ellis has] done his job with his school... Anything he's doing is worth being read about... He turned his life around and went on and did something and he's still doing it. I would read a book about his ass.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610480260
  • Publisher: R&L Education
  • Publication date: 8/22/2011
  • Pages: 186
  • Sales rank: 988,857
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Sam Seidel has taught in a variety of settings from first grade to community college and directed an award-winning arts program for young people in, and transitioning out of, prison. He now works with several national networks of innovative schools; speaks at education events; and writes for The Husslington Post, GOOD, and a variety of other publications. To learn more about his work, the book, and how you can book Sam to speak in your school or community, please check out www.HipHopGenius.org.
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Table of Contents

Foreword George Clinton vii

Preface Herbert Kohi xi

Introduction 1

1 Hip-Hop High 17

2 A Day's Work 49

3 Hip-Hop Leadership 77

4 Society's Sucker Punch 97

5 Trends in Hip-Hop Education 115

6 Flip-Hop Education 133

A Note from/about the Author 150

Index 157

Acknowledgments 169

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Great book

    Amazing story of a different approach to teaching. I even met the author....great speaker.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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