Monday, February 13, 2006

Des Moines Students May Learn the Three R's Via Hip-Hop

Ako Abdul-Samad, a member of the Des Moines, Iowa schoolboard, has proposed using hip-hop as a tool to teach children in the school district. Proponents of the "hip-hop learning method" claim the music helps to get students more engaged about a subject than traditional means. Philadelphia and San Francisco already use the music for teaching in its respective schools.

But not everyone is warm to the idea of using hip-hop as a teaching tool. For a significant number, the fact that the genre is often full of lyrics that demean women and lyrics that promote violence is enough for some to oppose Abdul-Samad's proposal altogether. Supporters argue that songs can be cleaned up before use in the classroom, thus deleting the aforementioned offensive lyrics.

A good idea? Will Abdul-Samad's proposal be integrated into the Des Moines curriculum? Abdul-Samad plans on holding a workshop on the matter in the spring.

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