Almost a year after the workings of a Hip-Hop resource first began, we are pleased to announce that the Hip-Hop Study Guide is complete. We have high hopes that the study guide will be an essential tool for those studying Hip-Hop as part of their university work, but also a resource for those interested in new perspectives on race, gender, music and culture more widely. As anticipated, the study guide has multiple sections, including summaries of books in the library, links to further scholarly reading online, and examples of Hip-Hop Education lesson plans written by students at the University of Manchester. It also features a glossary of Hip-Hop terms, for those researchers puzzling over what ‘OG’ actually stands for, or the meaning of the widely used term ‘baller’.
This project has been a combined effort of many individuals. Dr Eithne Quinn from the University of Manchester has provided expertise on the subject and provided advice on appropriate material and texts that should be included. Hannah Niblett here at AIURRRC has supervised the compiling of the study guide itself, along with organising the ordering of books and other resources inside it. For the past few weeks I have been identifying, summarising and cataloguing the amazing books that already exist on the shelves of the AIURRRC, fuelled by the hope that this study guide will provide the much-needed spotlight to highlight their importance.
The element most unfamiliar to many readers who are not studying Hip-Hop as part of a university degree will be the Lesson Plans, which can be found towards the end of the study guide. They are influenced by Hip-Hop Based Education (HHBE), an initiative which aims to integrate Hip-Hop into the academic curriculum. It aims to make mainstream education more accessible and appealing to students who are less enthusiastic about or inspired by traditional forms of learning. A lot of scholarship has been written on this, and there is now a recognised organization known as #HipHopEd, the origin and progression of which are described on their website:
Originally, #HipHopEd began as an online twitter chat where educators discussed the intersections of Hip-Hop and education but has grown into a non-profit organization that focuses on bridging the gap between theory and practice through the development and implementation of Hip-Hop based interventions in STEM, therapy, literacy and school leadership.
The lesson plans featured in the study guide are the creation of UoM students as part of a module called ‘Hip-Hop Studies’. Amongst several other areas of study within Hip-Hop, the students explore Hip-Hop Based Education and are asked to plan a lesson which teaches an academic subject using Hip-Hop. I hope these lesson plans are useful as examples for other students, and also for teachers hoping to implement Hip-Hop education into their lessons.
Now that the first step towards promoting Hip-Hop as an area of academic study and alternative method of education is underway, I hope many more steps will be taken to continue this initiative. We here at the AIURRRC hope to make connections with other Hip-Hop-related organisations and initiatives around Manchester to further this exciting new venture. Be sure to pay us a visit and check out this great new resource!
Keep your eyes peeled for guest blog posts for an insight into putting Hip-Hop Education into practice!