Interview with Gabriel Benn

Wednesday, May 16, 2007.

Gabriel BennThis episode of Just One More Book! is part of our showcase coverage of the International Reading Association‘s 52nd annual conference.

Mark speaks with Hip Hop M.C. and curriculum developer Gabriel Benn about H.E.L.P., the Hip-Hop Educational Literacy Program — a creative reading program that combines the power of Hip-Hop with proven reading instruction — and gives a short performance.

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1 Comment »

Comment by Ashley

November 13, 2007 @ 7:28 pm

This episode struck me because I have heard of HELP, and I sometimes wonder whether or not it is wise to use Hip-Hop to teach students, which is becoming a regular practice in urban schools. While I guess anything that can effectively improve students’ education should be used, I am hesitant of “lyrical education” because I think doing so implies that the only way our kids can learn is if we use Hip-Hop. Further, when my high school students go to college in a few years, they’re not going to have professors who teach them using Hip-Hop. Students, therefore, need to be prepared to learn in the old-fashioned way. However, Benn seems to know what he’s talking about. And from my own experience, I see that using Hip-Hop as a tool in the class can be effective. One, (some songs) should be viewed as literature and should be included in the cannon. Further, kids won’t make it to college if they can’t read and write and don’t do well in high school; so, if Hip-Hop helps them to do well in high-school and to read and write better, then go for it!

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