Is Teaching Hip-Hop In The Classroom Wrong?

Is there any­thing wrong with using songs to teach stu­dents how to use meta­phors? Charter School of Boyn­ton Beach believe there is some­thing wrong. A teach­er in Flor­ida has been sus­pen­ded for giv­ing stu­dents Lil Wayne lyr­ics to study in an attempt to teach the 8th grade class about meta­phors. The news has been repor­ted by CBS Tampa Bay, report­ing the school had sus­pen­ded the teach­er  for three days after print­ing out the lyr­ics to rap­per Lil Wayne’s expli­cit song, “Six Foot Sev­en Foot,” to study and explain.

As expec­ted there was an out­rage from the par­ents. Now get­ting chil­dren to explain song lyr­ics with sev­er­al mean­ings is a good and innov­at­ive way to under­stand meta­phors, how­ever, surely the song selec­tion needs to fit the age group. Yes pick a com­plex song, “Six Foot Sev­en Foot” is a tricky song with vari­ous meta­phors, how­ever, is it not too expli­cit for young teens?

The teach­er had the right thought, but the wrong actions. This could be a new teach­ing concept for meth­ods of learn­ing the Eng­lish lan­guage. Under­stand­ing a com­plexed rap song is down to under­stand­ing how meta­phors are used. Using a source which would interest the stu­dents was good idea. Stu­dents would prob­ably prefer to study Kanye West lyr­ics than Shakespeare. Although Shakespeare isn’t the easi­est to grasp, many can under­stand the con­cepts cre­ated and lan­guage skills used, how­ever, some may not and this could be a knock on effect towards their grades.

This teach­er should­n’t be fired, they could be on to some­thing which could change the way of teach­ing. They should how­ever, be super­vised because it is doubt­fully any­one would want their child cas­u­ally say­ing “Two bitches at the same time, syn­chron­ized swim­mers”. Maybe the school sys­tem could look into intro­du­cing Hip-Hop/music lyr­ic stud­ies into the Eng­lish cur­riculum.



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Digit­al Mar­ket­ing and You­Tube chan­nel man­ager who loves that good hip-hop.

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Digital Marketing and YouTube channel manager who loves that good hip-hop.

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