Ohio University

An African American student smiles while he works with other students.

HOPE Program and Brothers RISE Initiative

Literature supports the benefits of learners having role models in their community who look like they look. This notion is just as important in the school environment. Students of color need to see teachers who share their racial or cultural identity. The vision of Brothers RISE is to Nurture Outstanding Brothers for Leadership in Education. Key aspects of Brothers RISE include: a weeklong Brothers RISE orientation; academic and social support at each level of their teacher preparation; focus on psychosocial and racial identity and ethnic development of each student; opportunities to engage in research, professional development, and mentorship; and tuition assistance when possible.

Read more on the relationship between the Brothers RISE initiative and the HOPE program

Hip-Hop OHIO Patton Education (HOPE)

The Patton College’s innovative and progressive HOPE program prepares pre-service teachers to incorporate culturally relevant pedagogy into their own teaching styles. Using theoretical constructs from Hip-Hop Based Education (HHBE), the program teaches the value of hip-hop based education, culturally relevant pedagogy, and relational pedagogy. Students will learn how they can use the aesthetics of hip-hop culture to build healthy and affirming relationships to facilitate learning and student engagement.

The HOPE program aligns with The Patton College’s initiative, Brothers RISE (Rallying to Inspire and Shape Education), which is designed to strengthen public education by recruiting students, particularly African American males, into Teacher Education. While African American students make up 16.8% of the student population in Ohio, less than 1% of their teachers are African American males. African American male teachers are needed to serve as culturally relevant teachers who are able to acknowledge and support the academic success, cultural competence, and sociopolitical awareness of all students, especially students of color.



The HOPE program will start Fall 2021–22. HOPE courses will be open to all Ohio University majors. The first courses in the curriculum include:

EDTE 1010—Introduction to Hip-Hop Based Education

[offered Fall 2021 and Spring 2022]

This course explores in depth the complex issues and challenges of education in the United States and how hip-hop based education has been used to create more equitable schooling practices for youth. Course content includes an exploration of the origins of hip-hop based education and its role in addressing social issues and concerns within education. The course emphasizes preparing teacher candidates to use hip-hop culture to connect to the lives of youth.

EDTE 2100—Introduction to Youth Culture

[offered Spring 2022]

This course explores the complexity of youth culture and examines the cultural and historical construction of childhood to young adulthood. This course discusses major learning and human development theories through the use of youth culture pedagogy as an overarching framework for understanding. In addition, this course provides an introduction to equity-based pedagogical frameworks, such as reality pedagogy and culturally sustaining pedagogy, as a way to affirm students and support their learning.

HOPE Courses in Development

Hip-Hop as Theory

This course explores the complexity of youth culture and the socio-historical construction of childhood to young adulthood. Course content includes a discussion of major learning and human development theories using hip-hop based education as an overarching framework for understanding. The course will also examine how other theoretical constructs related to these, such as reality pedagogy and youth culture pedagogy supports student learning.

Hip-Hop in the Cultural Studies of Education (Meeting the Needs of Diverse Youth)

This course explores how educators can use hip-hop as a lens to understand social justice themes that our students face on a daily basis and particularly within schools. Course content includes a critical analysis of hip-hop lyrics that explore issues in society. Students will use this analysis as a lens for understanding education today. Students will have robust discussions and dialogue on the implications of age, ability, race, class, gender, and sexuality on education in relation to hip-hop culture.

Hip-Hop Teaching as Performance

This course explores the performance of pedagogy. It is a nod to hip-hop artists being the ultimate pedagogues using call and response, crowd motivation and openers and closers to “rock a crowd.” Students will use hip-hop as a lens to understand equitable discipline practices, positive relationship building, and engagement practices.

Youth Culture Curriculum for Teachers

This course will focus on designing a curriculum using culturally relevant and sustaining pedagogy. Students will design unit and lesson plans that are youth culture-centered. The course will explore how teachers can design a curriculum that connects youth culture to educational standards. Students will also use these same principles to create assessments that align with youth culture.

Field Experience

Teacher candidates will partner with an urban school in Columbus to develop an understanding of youth culture in action while also observing and enacting HHBE principles and practices.

Jason Rawls DJ's in front of shelves full of movies.
Photo by Deja Goode


If you have any questions and/or wish to apply, please contact:

Lisa Harrison,
Teacher Education