The University of Massachusetts Lowell College of Education scored another success on April 11, 2018 with the presentation of Bettina Love, keynote speaker at our 3rd Annual Symposium on Teaching and Learning. Dr. Love is Associate Professor at the University of Georgia in the Educational Theory and Practice program.
Love argued that close examination of hip-hop culture should demonstrate to educators the complex thinking skills and capacities of African-American youth. Furthermore, deep cultural understanding will help educators to understand how hip-hop culture can provide curriculum that will stimulate and engage youth. Hip-hop culture, while seemingly a recent phenomenon, is actually built on historical roots that can be traced back to Africa and the drums and story-telling traditions of that continent.
Her presentation made multiple connections from Hip-hop and cultural studies to arts-based research, feminism, and discourses of social justice. At the completion of the presentation she shared with us a link to her free Hip Hop civics curriculum.
Following her stimulating presentation, Teen BLOCK, a local Hip-Hop dance company, performed for the group, which brought our thoughts and minds back to real and amazing teenagers in our own community who have become accomplished performers of this art.
I couldn’t stop myself, I had to purchase a copy of Dr. Love’s book, a qualitative research study of female teens practicing Hip-Hop in the South: Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identies and Politics in the New South (2012). It is in the Counterpoints series published by Peter Lang Publishing Inc. I will be reading soon and will have more to say about what looks like a very interesting piece of qualitative research work.
Moral to this story is: Don’t miss next year’s College of Education Symposium on Teaching and Learning!! This is getting to be a must-go-to-event.