Hip-Hop and spoken word becoming tools in the classroom - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Hip-Hop and spoken word becoming tools in the classroom

MADISON (WKOW) -- More than 40 educators from nine states will attend the fourth annual Hip Hop and Spoken Word Teacher/Educator Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison July 6-10.

Each summer the UW-Madison Office of Multicultural Initiatives (OMAI) teams with Urban Word NYC to offer this weeklong program for teachers, educators, community leaders and education students to learn the best practices in hip-hop and spoken word pedagogy.

Both hip hop and spoken word are gaining wide recognition as legitimate teaching tools, says OMAI Arts in Education director Katrina Flores.

The institute provides community educators and teachers the opportunity to see into and experience the lives of their students through youth culture."

Teachers who have attended the institute agree that spoken word and hip hop provide new opportunities to formulate lessons and engage students.

Educators across the country are following UW-Madison's OMAI program and the emerging pedagogy as the art forms evolve and are studied by disciplines from linguistics to cultural anthropology.

Winner of the 2007 North American Association of Summer Sessions "Creative and Innovative Program Award," this institute brings together the leading educators, professors, emcees and activists who use the media of spoken word and hip-hop as relevant, dynamic and necessary educational tools to engage students across multi-disciplinary curricula.

This year marks the program's fourth year. It has grown with additional support from professors Carl Grant and Paula Wolfe of the UW-Madison School of Education's curriculum and instruction program.

The institute also serves to build a national network of teachers and community educators working in tandem to build capacities and strategies for improving the lives of our youth in educational and community program settings through spoken word and hip hop, she says.

OMAI and First Wave have served UW-Madison by expanding the cultural and artistic possibilities of UW-Madison students and the campus community.

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