Word Up: Using Spoken Word and Hip Hop Subject Matter in Pre-College Writing Instruction.
In June 2008, the Department of English at the University of Minnesota partnered with the Minnesota Spoken Word Association to inaugurate an outreach literacy program for local high-school students and teachers. The four-day institute, named 'In Da Tradition,' used spoken word and hip hop to teach academic and creative writing to core-city high-school students. In addition, high-school teachers writing and researching alongside the students witnessed an instructive model for utilizing the subject in their public-school classrooms, both for creative writing and academic research projects. The Institute focuses on the history, significance, pedagogy, and performance of spoken word and hip hop in order to encourage literacy, to inspire core-city high-school students to work toward postsecondary education, and to expand all of our ideas of what is possible both in academic scholarship and in creative writing. This article reports on outcomes from the institute.
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