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Knowledge Reigns Supreme

The Critical Pedagogy of Hip-Hop Artist KRS-ONE

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Priya Parmar

Knowledge Reigns Supreme: The Critical Pedagogy of Hip-hop Artist KRS-ONE argues for the inclusionary practice of studying and interpreting postmodern texts in today’s school curriculum using a (Hip-hop) cultural studies and critical theory approach, thus creating a transformative curriculum. Based on the work of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, the text argues that the implementation of teaching strategies and techniques derived from Hip-hop culture and specifically the rap lyrics of legendary Hip-hop pioneer and activist, Lawrence Parker, aka KRS-ONE (Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone) is an empowering, liberating pedagogy for educators, prospective educators and students of diverse backgrounds. The purpose of Knowedge Reigns Supreme … is to analyze and critique KRS-ONE’s rap lyrics as a postmodern text and as one concrete example of critical literacy, particularly because of the emancipatory potential it has for educating all youth, regardless of race, class or ethnicity. KRS-ONE’s lyrical career began in 1986 and continues today with the inclusion of lecture tours and performances at universities nationally and internationally. He is one of the most sought after collegiate speakers in the country, visiting over 200 universities, including: Clark, Yale, Moorehouse, Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Temple, Howard, Spellman, and UCLA. Knowledge Reigns Supreme … also provides educators with pedagogical strategies that can be implemented in the classroom. Educators teaching courses in pedagogy, language arts, social studies, research and methodology at the high school (9-12), undergraduate and graduate levels will find the contents of this text useful.

Seeing With Poetic Eyes

Critical Race Theory and Moving from Liberal to Critical Forms of Race Research in Sociology of Education

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Benjamin Blaisdell

“Seeing with poetic eyes” is a phrase used by a teacher to describe one of his students, a teenager who could recognize the disconnect between U. S. society’s claims about racial equity and its actual commitment towards that equity. As a teacher, he saw it as his mission to help all of his students see the world in such a critical way with that hope that they would be motivated to pursue antiracism more actively in their lives. In this book, I discuss how critical race theory (CRT) can motivate research on race in sociology of education in a similar way. Specifically, I describe how CRT helped me work with seven white teachers on developing more critical understandings of race. In my ethnographic interviews with these teachers, the analytical tools of CRT gave me a way to openly dialogue with them about issues of race in education. I was able to not only learn from the teachers but also work with them on developing racial awareness. Instead of relying on more liberal forms of sociological research—where the researcher extracts data from participants—CRT helped me promote a more critical approach, one where the researcher and participants work together to actively pursue antiracism in the research act itself. So “seeing with poetic eyes” refers the way that I have come to view research as a means of antiracism. Similarly, I propose that CRT can promote such a critical approach to research on race in the field of sociology of education.

James Bay Cree Students and Higher Education

Issues of Identity and Culture Shock

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Christopher Darius Stonebanks

This book examines the continuing challenges of lingering colonial cultural imperialism on the James Bay Cree, through an examination of the relationship between Cree students and the current “mainstream higher education” system. Culture shock and identity formation are central themes as the book investigates the uneven relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous authority in North America, dispelling notions of living in a “post-colonial” context. Well suited to a number of interests, such as Multiculturalism, Native/Indigenous studies, Sociology, Curriculum Studies, Cultural Comparative Education, Qualitative Research and more, readers will gain an understanding or simply benefit from a confirmation and validation of the complexities regarding “Native education”.

Racists Beware

Uncovering Racial Politics in the Post Modern Society

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George J. Sefa Dei

With admirable clarity and directness, George Dei exposes the tendency towards the racial re-feudalization of the contemporary public sphere in Canada and, by association, other post-industrial societies. He points to the enormous opportunity costs imposed on racial minorities in the new millennium as a consequence. In RACISTS BEWARE: UNCOVERING RACIAL POLITICS IN THE POSTMODERN SOCIETY, Dei identifies and subjects to close scrutiny the new race-bending logics of what he calls “postmodern” societies in which the dwellers of the suburbs and members of the itinerant white professional middle class (the great beneficiaries of late capitalism and neoliberalization of the economy) now have become the new social plaintiff turning the complaint of racial inequality and discrimination on the heads of those most oppressed. If Gayatri Spivak asks “Can the subaltern speak?” then Dei brilliantly poses the question: “When will Anglo-dominant groups, even critical ones, ever listen?” This book is likely to provoke and influence discussion on racial antagonism for a long, long time to come.

The Great White North?

Exploring Whiteness, Privilege and Identity in Education

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Edited by Darren E. Lund and Paul R. Carr

Returning seven years later to their original pieces from this landmark book, over 20 leading scholars and activists revisit and reframe their rich contributions to a burgeoning scholarship on Whiteness. With new reflective writings for each chapter, and valuable sections on relevant readings and resources, this volume refreshes and enhances the first text to pay critical and sustained attention to Whiteness in education, with implications far beyond national borders. Contributors include George Sefa Dei, Tracey Lindberg, Carl James, Cynthia Levine-Rasky, and the late Patrick Solomon. Courageously examining diverse perspectives, contexts, and institutional practices, contributors to this volume dismantle the underpinnings of inequitable power relations, privilege, and marginalization. The book’s relevance extends to those in a range of settings, with abundant and poignant lessons for enhancing and understanding transformative social justice work in education.

Cover image courtesy of Wim Van Passel (Wim Van Passel)