Peace, Love, Unity & Having Fun: Storying the life histories and pedagogical beliefs of African American male teachers from the Hip Hop generation.

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This dissertation study is motivated by a desire to address the diminishing presence of African American male teachers in U.S. schools and the significance of this dissertation is multifold. First, through an examination of the life histories of African American teachers from the Hip Hop Generation and their pedagogical beliefs, it sheds light on cultural contexts in which their experiences with Hip Hop culture, their motivations to teach, and their pedagogical approaches emerged. In doing so, this study expands upon the existing literature on teacher beliefs, which all but excludes the ontologies, epistemologies, and pedagogies of African American male educators.

This study focuses on nine African American male K-12 teachers who were born between 1965 and 1984 and feel closely connected to Hip Hop music and culture. It examines their social, political, educational and cultural experiences (e.g. coming of age during the crack epidemic, their connections to political movements like Civil Rights and Black Nationalism, their schooling experiences, and their involvement with Hip Hop culture) and how these experiences have influenced their pedagogical beliefs.

This study revealed that the nine participants embraced non-traditional pedagogies, relied on Hip Hop culture to support their daily instruction, and viewed the intersections of Hip Hop culture and traditional curriculum as powerful sites through which to address the achievement challenges facing students of color, while producing positive academic outcomes for, particularly, African American boys.