Date of Award

Spring April 2015

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Antonia Darder

Second Advisor

Brad Stone

Third Advisor

Adilifu Nama


Educational reform movements are constantly in the process of trying to improve a fractured educational system. Many scholars contend there is a discrepancy between educational outcomes for White students and students from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Some educators in working class communities of color have begun to infuse elements of students’ social and cultural backgrounds, including popular culture, to create instructional methods that can better engage and pique student interest. Hip-hop Pedagogy is one of the methods, rooted in popular culture, which is being used in classroom settings to increase students’ awareness about the societal constructs and issues in their communities that may affect them. Student access to Hiphop based instructional methods, however, have been limited and virtually absent from elementary education settings. However the consumption of Hip-hop culture persists in urban communities worldwide. This qualitative study implemented a Hip-hop emergent-based curriculum in an elementary school setting, closely documenting the perceptions and responses to the curriculum by four young males students of color. The study consisted of five consecutive classroom sessions, in which the curriculum and dialogue focused on different expressions of Hip-hop culture. Student viewpoints were logged daily in focus groups and the data that emerged from the sessions and focus groups informed the emergent curriculum. Graffiti became the Hip-hop element of focus chosen for deeper exploration by the participants in this study. The study revealed a number of findings that point to the potential value of an emergent Hip-hop curriculum with elementary male students of color.